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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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Title: Materials for the Sociolinguistic Description and Corpus-Based Study of Spanish in Barcelona
Subtitle: Toward a Documentation of Colloquial Spanish in Naturally Occurring Groups
Written By: Robert E. Vann
URL: http://www.mellenpress.com/mellenpress.cfm?bookid=7700&pc=9

This book reflects on the Spanish of Catalonia and furnishes documentary
resources for studying colloquial Spanish spoken in naturally occurring
social groups in Barcelona. Part I addresses many complex issues necessary
to appropriately contextualize Spanish language usage in Barcelona and
linguistic analysis of such usage, with discussions of language contact,
ethnolinguistic identities, language ideologies, ways of speaking,
corpus-based research, fieldwork methodology, and speaker profiles. Part II
presents the first known publication of orthographically transcribed spoken
language corpus data from colloquial Spanish conversations in naturally
occurring social groups in Catalonia. Despite previous explicit calls for
such publications, Spanish in Catalonia still remains largely unrecognized
in Spanish dialectology. By providing substantial transcripts of spoken
language data, metadata, and general access resources to document actual
ways of speaking Spanish in Barcelona, this monograph provides a linguistic
record that both recognizes the legitimacy of this Spanish dialect and
facilitates its linguistic description and analysis. The volume thus
contributes to scholarship in Spanish sociolinguistics and dialectology,
documentary linguistics, anthropological linguistics, and the sociology of
language. This work will appeal to academics worldwide in these and related
fields (e.g. contact linguistics, discourse analysis, Hispanic studies, and
Catalan studies), to Spanish teachers, and to the community studied.

"This book is an important contribution to studies of Catalan Spanish and
provides a much needed resource for future researchers... Vann’s
contribution in this book is twofold. First, he documents the Spanish of
Catalonia, a regional variety of Spanish that has received increasing
academic recognition in the past decade. Vann provides an excellent
overview of the historical, political and social context of Spanish/Catalan
language contact and the development of Catalan Spanish as a regional
dialect. In addition, he analyzes the language ideologies of academic
discourse and their role in the inadequate recognition that the Spanish of
Catalonia has received in traditional studies of Spanish dialectology.
Second, Vann provides an outstanding resource for researchers on Catalan
Spanish: the transcripts of colloquial, naturally-occurring conversations
within two naturally constituted social networks in Barcelona, comprising
part of his larger corpus of Catalan Spanish. Importantly, he offers a
clear explanation of the methods used to collect, digitize and transcribe
the recordings and provides extensive extralinguistic data on the
participants so that the transcriptions can be used by researchers who wish
to analyze the characteristics of Catalan Spanish." -Dr. Carol A. Klee,
University of Minnesota

"Professor Vann's pioneering work clearly breaks new ground in the field of
Hispanic Linguistics, bringing principles of dialectology and
sociolinguistics to bear upon a carefully collected and painstakingly
analyzed corpus of oral data collected in Barcelona in 1995 from
spontaneous colloquial conversations held by members of two social networks
involving about fifty-eight speakers. His study casts a new light on
Catalan Spanish, presenting this variety as a legitimate regional dialect
of the Spanish language that plays a significant role as a marker of ethnic
and cultural identity and as a factor of ingroup solidarity... The detailed
description of the techniques used in data collection and analysis,
together with a transcript in ordinary spelling of a significant portion of
the corpus, add to the volume's worth as a very useful language
documentation in addition to its intrinsic value as a case study of field
work methodology." -Dr. Milton M. Azevedo, UC Berkeley

Publication Year: 2009
Publisher: The Edwin Mellen Press
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
Language Documentation
Anthropological Linguistics
Subject Language(s): Spanish
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0773448713
ISBN-13: 9780773448711
Pages: 300
Prices: U.S. $ 109.95