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It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

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Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Investigating Variation
Subtitle: The Effects of Social Organization and Social Setting
Written By: Nancy C. Dorian

Linguistic variation has been studied primarily in communities with the
dominant social organization of our time: ethnic diversity, socioeconomic
stratification, and a population size that precludes community-wide
face-to-face interaction. In such communities variation correlates with
ethnicity and class. Investigating Variation explores a different kind of
social structure: small size, dense kinship ties, common occupation, and
absence of social stratification. In the community investigated here,
social homogeneity and constant face-to-face interaction made accommodation
unnecessary, and extremely weak extra-community norming for the local
minority language permitted a very high level of individual variation.

Nancy C. Dorian's examination of the fisherfolk Gaelic spoken in a Highland
Scottish village offers a number of explanations for delayed recognition of
a linguistic variation unrelated to social class or other social
sub-groupings. Reports of similar variation phenomena in locations with
similar features (contemporary minority-language pockets in Ireland,
Russia, Norway, Canada, and Cameroon) make it possible to identify a
particular set of factors that contribute to the emergence and persistence
of socially neutral inter-speaker and intra-speaker variation. Facets of
language use related to social structure remain to be investigated in
communities with still other forms of social organization before the few
communities that represent them disappear altogether.

Publication Year: 2010
Publisher: Oxford University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s): Gaelic, Scottish
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0195385934
ISBN-13: 9780195385939
Pages: 376
Prices: U.S. $ 99.00

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0195385926
ISBN-13: 9780195385922
Pages: 376
Prices: U.S. $ 49.95