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Words in Time and Place: Exploring Language Through the Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary

By David Crystal

Offers a unique view of the English language and its development, and includes witty commentary and anecdotes along the way.


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The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics

By Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin W. Lewis

This book "asserts that the origin and spread of languages must be examined primarily through the time-tested techniques of linguistic analysis, rather than those of evolutionary biology" and "defends traditional practices in historical linguistics while remaining open to new techniques, including computational methods" and "will appeal to readers interested in world history and world geography."


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Title: Language and Power in the Creation of the USSR 1917--1953
Written By: Michael B. Smith
Series Title: Contributions to the Sociology of Language 80
Description:

This is the first comprehensive history of language planning in the USSR, covering the formative period under Lenin and Stalin. Based on party and state archival materials only recently made available, it explores the tension between linguistic russification and nativization of the Soviet experience. The author argues that from the moment of its greatest victory in the Russian Revolution to the difficult days of reconstruction after World War II, the government was locked into a hegemonic imperative which required a measure of dependence upon the rural Russians and peripheral non-Russian peoples as much as domination over them. Language issues help to understand how the Soviet state structure was a machine of centrifugal, as well as centripetal, force. To prove this point, the author examines such unprecedented initiatives as the simplification of the Russian spelling system; the 'latinization' of the Arabic alphabets of the Muslim peoples; and the reform of school grammars and teaching curriculums. He also offers new interpretations about the various linguistic trends which informed these projects, from G.G. Shpet's remarkable `structural' phenomenology, to N.Ia Marr's 'Marxist' school of linguistics, to Stalin's infamous linguistic essay of 1950. He reveals how the Communist Party micro-managed language reform in Muslim Central Asia, and how it dealt with decades of failure rates on the countrywide Russian language examinations. The result is an original reading of sociolinguistics and Soviet history, weaving together the scientific contributions of linguists, the political imperatives of the party-state, and the everyday responses of various social and ethnic groups.

Publication Year: 1998
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s): Russian
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Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 3110161974
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 294pp
Prices: DM 178,-/approx. US$ 111.00