It was about one and a half years ago that I finally I arrived where I had always wanted to be and do what I had always wanted-- teach students, support small language communities and conduct research on African languages on my doorstep. The University of Cape Town and my new colleagues welcomed my efforts to establish the Centre for African Language Diversity-- CALDi as well as The African Language Archive-- TALA and I was recently appointed the Mellon Research Chair: African Language Diversity this initiative. The main aim of CALDi is to train young African scholars in descriptive linguistics and open up space for research into African languages at UCT with the hopes of countering the dominance of African linguistics outside the continent. It has been a great challenge for which my whole career has been a form of preparation...Read more
The Cambridge Handbook of Communication Disorders examines the full range of developmental and acquired communication disorders and provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to the epidemiology, aetiology and clinical features of these disorders.
The major point made in this book is that the philosophical position called 'essentialism' engenders a very unrewarding set of beliefs. These beliefs are reflected in how people view language and in all the possible walks of life which involve the use of language. A critical stance toward philosophical essentialism is the idea which permeates and thus unites all the eight dialogues in the book. After a short introductory dialogue (1) concerning the use of incomprehensible language, the book treats the following issues: (2) the importance of philosophical knowledge both for the professional linguist and for the average language user; (3) the importance that language users attribute to words; (4) the relationship between cognitive linguistics and non-essentialism (including a discussion of imprecision, creativity, fuzziness, metaphor); (5) the omni-presence of misunderstanding; (6) conflict (including a discussion of intolerance, dogmatism, infallability, conceit, authoritarian argumentation); (7) the political correctness debate; and (8) ways in which essentialism can be counteracted (including encouragement of a tolerant attitude to language use and of new coinages). This book is intended primarily for undergraduate and graduate students of linguistics; but, given the informal style and the main claims of the book, which go significantly beyond linguistics, it may appeal to a much broader audience.