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The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


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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