By Sari Pietikäinen, FinlandAlexandra Jaffe, Long BeachHelen Kelly-Holmes, and Nikolas Coupland
Sociolinguistics from the Periphery "presents a fascinating book about change: shifting political, economic and cultural conditions; ephemeral, sometimes even seasonal, multilingualism; and altered imaginaries for minority and indigenous languages and their users."
The language of international relations theory and practice has traditionally been claimed metaphorical. Among several metaphors discussed in the literature, the 'state is a person' metaphor has been unanimously claimed as pervading the language of world affairs. This book challenges the cognitive dogma of the ubiquity and pervasiveness of the personification of the political state, both in its conceptual and linguistic varieties. The detailed data-driven research provides ample evidence against the widely held view of the ubiquity of this metaphor. It also casts doubt on the overrated role of metonymy in the language of international politics. Polemical in nature, the book critiques conceptual metaphor for its contribution to the growing ideologization of research. It offers a cognitive and realistic solution to many of the dilemmas.