LINGUIST List 10.1181

Tue Aug 10 1999

Books: Sociolinguistics

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  1. Paul Peranteau, Socioling: Urban Jamaican Creole, Soviet Immigrants to the U.S.

Message 1: Socioling: Urban Jamaican Creole, Soviet Immigrants to the U.S.

Date: Tue, 10 Aug 1999 11:46:54 -0400
From: Paul Peranteau <>
Subject: Socioling: Urban Jamaican Creole, Soviet Immigrants to the U.S.

John Benjamins Publishing announce the arrival of these two new works

Urban Jamaican Creole.
Variation in the Mesolect.
Varieties of English Around the World G17 
US & Canada: 1 55619 448 X / USD 110.00 (Hardcover)
Rest of World: 90 272 4875 3 / NLG 220.00 (Hardcover)

A synchronic sociolinguistic study of Jamaican Creole (JC) as spoken
in urban Kingston, this work uses variationist methods to closely
investigate two key concepts of Atlantic Creole studies: the mesolect,
and the creole continuum.

One major concern is to describe how linguistic variation patterns
with social influences. Is there a linguistic continuum? How does it
correlate with social factors? The complex organization of an
urbanizing Caribbean society and the highly variable nature of
mesolectal speech norms and behavior present a challenge to
sociolinguistic variation theory.

The second chief aim is to elucidate the nature of mesolectal
grammar. Creole studies have emphasized the structural integrity of
basilectal varieties, leaving the status of intermediate mesolectal
speech in doubt. How systematic is urban JC grammar? What patterns
occur when basilectal creole constructions alternate with acrolectal
English elements? Contextual constraints on choice of forms support a
picture of the mesolect as a single grammar, variable yet
internally-ordered, which has evolved a fine capacity to serve social

Drawing on a year's fieldwork in a mixed-class neighborhood of the
capital city, the author (a speaker of JC) describes the speech
community's history, demographics, and social geography, locating
speakers in terms of their social class, occupation, education, age,
sex, residence, and urban orientation. The later chapters examine a
recorded corpus for linguistic variables that are phono-lexical
(palatal glides), phonological (consonant cluster simplification),
morphological (past-tense inflection), and syntactic (pre-verbal tense
and aspect marking), using quantitative methods of analysis (including
Varbrul). The Jamaican urban mesolect is portrayed as a coherent
system showing stratified yet regular linguistic behavior, embedded in
a well-defined speech community; despite the incorporation of forms
and constraints from English, it is quintessentially creole in

Sociocultural Perspectives on Language Change in Diaspora.
Soviet immigrants in the United States.
IMPACT: Studies in Language and Society 5
US & Canada: 1 55619 854 X / USD 69.00 (Hardcover)
Rest of world: 90 272 1835 8 / NLG 138.00 (Hardcover)

This book is a sociolinguistic examination of the Russian speech of
the American "Third Wave", the migration from the Soviet Union which
began in the early 1970s under the policy of detente. Within the
framework of bilingualism and language contact studies, it examines
developments in emigre Russian with reference to the late Cold-War
period which shaped them and the post-Soviet era of today. The book
addresses matters of interest not only to Russianists, but to
linguists of various theoretical persuasions and to sociologists,
anthropologists and cultural historians working on a range of related
topics. No knowledge of the Russian language is assumed on the part of
the reader, and all linguistics examples are presented in standard
transliteration and fully explicated.

			John Benjamins Publishing Co. 
Offices:	Philadelphia			Amsterdam:
Phone:		+215 836-1200			+31 20 6762325
Fax: 		+215 836-1204			+31 20 6739773
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