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Linguistics in a Colonial World: A Story of Language, Meaning, and Power / Edition 1

Linguistics in a Colonial World: A Story of Language, Meaning, and Power / Edition 1

by Joseph Errington


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 2901405105704
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 09/19/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Joseph Errington is Professor of Anthropology and International and Area Studies, as well as Chair of the Council of Southeast Asian Studies, at Yale University. His research and writing have focused on linguistic dimensions of modernization and identity in Java and Indonesia, reflecting his broader interests in semiotics and the politics of language.

Table of Contents



List of Figures and Table.

1. The Linguistic in the Colonial.

2. Early Conversions, or, How Spanish Friars Made the LittleJump.

3. Imaging the Linguistic Past.

4. Philology's Evolutions.

5. Between Pentecost and Pidgins.

6. Colonial Linguists, (Proto)-National Languages.

7. Postcolonial Postscript.


Language Index.

Persons Index.

Subject Index

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This book provides both an introduction and an innovative argumentabout the development of colonial linguistics and its place in therise of 19th century European linguistics as a field of expertknowledge. This is stimulating scholarship and a valuable teachingresource for linguistic anthropology, sociolinguistics, history oflinguistics, cultural studies and historiography."
Kathryn Woolard, University of California: San Diego

"This splendid history of ideas is a nuanced reflection on howlanguage and humanity became each other's deepest theoreticalmirrors as the world made the transition from colonialism to themore recent forms of globalization. It is also a superbcontribution to the general dialogue between linguistics and itscognate human sciences."
Arjun Appadurai, The New School

"In this concise, eloquent yet wide-ranging book, JosephErrington demonstrates the importance of understanding linguisticsas a special kind of colonial encounter. Linguistics, he shows, hasalways operated within particular relations of power, constructs ofsameness and difference, and ways of reducing languages to writing.The European science of language helped legislate on the one handnational difference in Europe and on the other human inequality inEuropean empires. Linguistics, Errington shows, may claimscientificity but it can never be insulated from the speech ofthose it studies; it is always entangled with contexts, projectsand linguistic ideologies from the past. This book thereforeprovides not only key historical discussion of the long and fraughtconnections among colonialism, linguistic description, literacypractices, and social imaginations, but also challenges anycontemporary practising linguist – whether engaged inpan-human speculations about universal language, continuingmissionary linguistic projects, or attempts to save and preserveendangered languages – to understand current postcoloniallinguistic projects in relation to the colonial past."
Alastair Pennycook, University of Technology-Sydney

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