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New from Oxford University Press!


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."

New from Cambridge University Press!


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: Writing and Society
Subtitle: An Introduction
Written By: Florian Coulmas
Series Title: Key Topics in Sociolinguistics

How does writing relate to speech? What impact does it have on social organisation and development? How do unwritten languages differ from those that have a written form and tradition? This book is a general account of the place of writing in society. Drawing on contemporary and historical examples, from clay tablets to touchscreen displays, the book explores the functions of writing and written language, analysing its consequences for language, society, economy and politics. It examines the social causes of illiteracy, demonstrating that institutions of central importance to modern society are built upon writing and written texts, and are characterised by specific forms of communication. It explores the social dimensions of spelling and writing reform, as well as of digital literacy, a new mode of expression and communication posing novel challenges to the student of language in society.

Publication Year: 2013
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9781107602434
Pages: 192
Prices: U.S. $ 27.99

Format: Hardback
ISBN-13: 9781107016422
Pages: 192
Prices: U.S. $ 90.00