Language, Culture, and Communication: The Meaning of Messages / Edition 5

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Using data from cultures and languages throughout the world to highlight both similarities and differences in human languages—this text explores the many interconnections among language, culture, and communicative meaning. It examines the multi-faceted meanings and uses of language and emphasizes the ways that language encapsulates speakers' meanings and intentions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780135135686
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 10/22/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 5
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 6.01 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
References 5
Ch. 2 The Form of the Message 6
Phonology: The Sounds of Language 6
Morphology: The Structure of Words 17
Syntax: The Structure of Sentences 25
Semantics: The Analysis of Meaning 29
Manual Language 32
Nonverbal Communication 37
Summary 50
References 50
Ch. 3 Language and Cultural Meaning 52
Foundations of Ethnolinguistics 53
Lexical and Cultural Categories 57
Cultural Presupposition 69
Extended and Transferred Meaning 72
Summary 82
References 82
Ch. 4 Contextual Components: Outline of an Ethnography of Communication 84
Ethnography of Communication 84
Settings 87
Participants 88
Topics and Goals 98
Speech Acts 101
Routines 103
Summary 110
References 111
Ch. 5 Communicative Interactions 112
Structural Properties of Conversation 112
Conversational Postulates 118
Directives 122
Politeness 131
Summary 143
References 143
Ch. 6 Societal Segmentation and Linguistic Variation: Class and Race 145
Social Stratification 145
Caste 146
Class 147
Race 167
Summary 181
References 181
Ch. 7 Language and Gender: English and English Speakers 183
Pronunciation 184
Grammatical Variants 191
Lexical Choices 196
Gender-Related Conversational Styles 198
Gender Bias in English 204
Summary 212
References 213
Ch. 8 Cross-Cultural Studies of Language and Gender 215
Gender-Exclusive Patterns 215
Linguistic and Stylistic Preferences 221
Images of Gender in Linguistic Form 234
Summary 239
References 240
Ch. 9 Language Learning 242
Acquisition of Language 243
Complex Grammars 248
Comparative Evidence 259
Some Universal Sequences 266
Instructional Strategies 268
Summary 273
References 273
Ch. 10 Acquisition of Communicative Competence 276
Acquiring Communicative Styles 276
Learning Status and Role 283
Learning to Converse 292
Summary 301
References 301
Ch. 11 Multilingual Nations 303
India 304
Canada 311
The United States 321
Summary 338
References 338
Ch. 12 Bilingual Communities 341
Linguistic Change 342
Language Use in Bilingual Communities 346
Bilingual Conversational Strategies 352
Interethnic Miscommunication 360
Summary 365
References 365
Ch. 13 Language and Institutional Encounters 367
Language and Status 367
Institutional Contexts 370
Education 371
Medical Encounters 375
Legal Settings 380
The Media 386
Summary 389
References 390
Glossary 392
Index 398
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This book presents a discussion of the multifaceted meanings and uses of language. It emphasizes the ways that language encapsulates speakers' meanings and intentions. It includes data from cultures and languages throughout the world in order to document both similarities and differences in human language.

Following an introduction (Chapter 1) and a presentation of structural features of language (Chapter 2), cultural meanings of words and metaphors are analyzed in Chapter 3. The next two chapters (Chapters 4 and 5) describe situational and interactive aspects of communication. Chapter 6 focuses on speakers' class and race as significant determinants of speech style. Chapters 7 and 8 discuss the role of gender. The next two chapters (Chapters 9 and 10) describe the processes of language acquisition. Chapter 11 focuses on language use, loyalty, and conflict in multilingual nations; Chapter 12 discusses multilinguism in communicative interaction. The book concludes with a chapter devoted to analyzing inequalities of power in institutional encounters (Chapter 13).

I wish to express my thanks to Prentice Hall's reviewers for their useful critique of the manuscript: Hoyt Alverson, Dartmouth College; Joseph Errington, Yale University; and Joel Sherzer, University of Texas. I also wish to thank my publisher, Nancy Roberts, for suggesting and encouraging this book. I also thank Kim Gueterman, project manager, for expertly guiding the book's production; Sharon Chambliss, Managing Editor of Anthropology and Sociology; and Alexandra Shandell for preparing the index.

Nancy Bonvillain

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