This book features a fascinating and extended focal interview with Professor John J. Gumperz, who ranges over his long career trajectory and reflects on his scientific achievements and how they relate to the contemporary linguistic scene. In this way, the reader is presented with a snapshot introduction to Gumperz's work in a contemporary context.
A number of commentaries provide a stimulating and illuminating series of theoretical and applied encounters with Gumperz's work from different perspectives. In so doing, they shed new light on Gumperz's seminal contribution to the study of language and interaction. In his Response Essay and in a final discussion, Gumperz clarifies his views on many of the topics discussed in the volume, as well as sharing with readers his views on some other approaches to language and interaction that are closely aligned to his own.
Sociolinguistics, the ethnographic approach to language, language and social interaction, intercultural communication, communicative conventions, contextualization • these are some of the key terms which Professor John J. Gumperz discusses in this wide ranging and searching interview about his career as an anthropological linguist and sociolinguist interested in cultural diversity and intercultural communication.
John J. Gumperz, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, is one of the founders of Sociolinguistics whose early work on speech communities and on the relationship of linguistic to social boundaries helped lay the basis for much current work in the field. Since the 1970s he has concentrated on a theory and methods of discourse analysis that can account for the intrinsic diversity of today’s communicative environments.
His publications include: Language in Social Groups (1962); Ethnography of Communication (1964) and Directions in Sociolinguistics (1972/2002), both coedited with Dell Hymes; Discourse Strategies (1982); Language and Social Identity (1982); and Rethinking Linguistic Relativity (1996), coedited with Steven Levinson. He is currently working on a collection of studies New Ethnographies of Communication (coedited with Marco Jacquemet); and Language in Social Theory.
Table of Contents
1. Presenting John J. Gumperz
Aldo Di Luzio 1
2. A discussion with John J. Gumperz
Carlo L. Prevignano and Aldo Di Luzio 7
3. Contextualizing “Contextualization Cues”
Stephen C. Levinson 31
4. Contextualization and social meaning-making practices
Paul J. Thibault 41
5. Gumperz and the minims of interaction
Carlo L. Prevignano 63
6. Commentary on a discussion with John J. Gumperz
Afzal Ballim 79
7. A review of John J. Gumperz’s current contributions to interactional sociolinguistics
Susan L. Eerdmans 85
8. Response essay
John J. Gumperz 105
9. Body dynamics, social meaning-making, and scale heterogeneity
Paul J. Thibault 127
10. Continuing the discussion with John J. Gumperz
Carlo L. Prevignano and Paul J. Thibault 149
Bio-bibliographical note 163