Language, Culture, and Communication: The Meaning of Messages (5th Edition)

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9780135135686: Language, Culture, and Communication: The Meaning of Messages (5th Edition)

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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Written in accessible, non-technical language, this book explores the many interconnections among language, culture, and communicative meaning--using data from cultures and languages throughout the world. It examines the multi-faceted meanings and uses of language, emphasizes the ways that language encapsulates speakers' meanings and intentions, and highlights both similarities and differences in human languages. Features short, chapter-opening vignettes. The Form of the Message. Language and Cultural Meaning. Contextual Components: Outline of an Ethnography of Communication. Communicative Interactions. Societal Segmentation and Linguistic Variation: Class and Race. Language and Gender: English and English-Speakers. Cross-Cultural Studies of Language and Gender. Learning Language. Acquisition of Communicative Competence. Multilingual Nations. Bilingual Communities. Language and Institutional Encounters. Highlights topics of current concern and controversy: e.g., interactional and symbolic uses of African American Vernacular English; endangered languages and language maintenance efforts; U.S. state and federal legislation concerning language and bilingual education; the Ebonics controversy; the international dominance of English and the growth of "New Englishes." For anyone interested in Language and Culture, Anthropological Linguistics, and Language and Communication.

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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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