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May I Quote You on That?

By Stephen Spector

A guide to English grammar and usage for the twenty-first century, pairing grammar rules with interesting and humorous quotations from American popular culture.

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The Cambridge Handbook of Endangered Languages

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Title: English
Subtitle: Meaning and Culture
Written By: Anna Wierzbicka

It is widely accepted that English is the first truly global language and
lingua franca. Its dominance has even lead to its use and adaptation by
local communities for their own purposes and needs. One might see English
in this context as being simply a neutral, universal vehicle for the
expression of local thoughts and ideas. In fact, English words and phrases
have embedded in them a wealth of cultural baggage that is invisible to
most native speakers. Anna Wierzbicka, a distinguished linguist know for
her theories of semantics, has written the first book that connects the
English language with what she terms "Anglo" culture.

Wierzbicka points out the language and culture are not just interconnected,
but inseparable. This is evident to non-speakers trying to learn puzzling
English expressions. She uses original research to investigate the
"universe of meaning" within the English language (both grammar and
vocabulary) and places it in historical and geographical perspective. For
example, she looks at the history of the terms "right" and "wrong" and how
the influence of the Reformation "right" came to mean "correct." She
examines the ideas of "fairness" and "reasonableness" and shows that, far
from being cultural universals, they are in fact unique creations of modern
English countries like other English words and phrases. This engrossing and
fascinating work of scholarship should appeal not only to linguists and
others concerned with language and culture, but the large group of scholars
studying English and English as a second language.

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Semantics
Subject Language(s): English
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Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0195174755
ISBN-13: 9780195174755
Pages: 368
Prices: U.K. £ 17.99