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."
This autoethnographic account of the author’s Japanese as a second language learning trajectory is an important and unique addition to diary studies in SLA and applied linguistics qualitative research circles. In-depth ethnographic details and introspective commentary are skilfully interwoven throughout Simon-Maeda’s narrative of her experiences as an American expatriate who arrived in Japan in 1975 – the starting point of her being and becoming a speaker of Japanese. The book joins the recent surge in postmodernist, interdisciplinary approaches to examining language acquisition, and readers are presented with a highly convincing case for using autoethnography to better understand sociolinguistic complexities that are unamenable to quantification of isolated variables. The comprehensive literature review and wide ranging references provide a valuable source of information for researchers, educators, and graduate students concerned with current issues in SLA/applied linguistics, bi/multilingualism, and Japanese as a second language.