The Social Art: Language and Its Uses

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9780195187960: The Social Art: Language and Its Uses
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The Social Art is an engagingly written, highly accessible tour through the world of languages. Macaulay uses jokes, anecdotes, quotations, and examples to introduce readers to the full range of current linguistic knowledge, covering in 35 chapters, topics like language acquisition, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, dialects, conversation, narrative, swearing, and many others.

In this revised and expanded second edition, Macaulay brings the book up to date with the last decade of progress in linguistics, adding more American examples, and updating bibliographies. Two new chapters have been added, on theories of language development and on the evolution of language. The Social Art is perfect for general readers and students who want to learn about what it is that linguists do.

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About the Author:


Ronald K. S. Macaulay is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Pitzer College. He is the author of Language, Social Class and Education (1977), Locating Dialect in Discourse (1991), Standards and Variation in Urban Speech (1997), and Talk that Counts: Age, Gender, and Social Class Differences in Discourse (OUP, 2005). The first edition of The Social Art was published in 1995.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A modest survey of recent linguistic theory and practice in which Macaulay (Linguistics/Pitzer College; Generally Speaking, 1980--not reviewed) draws on 25 years of teaching to present what he admits is derivative, technical, and pedagogically oriented. Unlike the luminous and artful version of contemporary linguistics by Anthony Burgess (A Mouthful of Air, 1993), or the vivid and original contributions by Ray Jackendoff, Steven Pinker, and Joel Davis, this study is tidy, conservative, distinguished by the 30 short and methodical chapters, the teacher's voice, and the wide array of examples. Mostly, Macaulay describes familiar facets of language by using linguistics terminology: language acquisition, phonemics, vocabulary, syntax, semantics, and ``deictic'' elements- -the implied gestures of spoken language. He divides dialects into region, social class, written and spoken language; and he ``registers'' the technical vocabularies of different fields, stylistic devices, and also sexual differences, which he believes are unimportant despite the ``nonsense'' the topic has produced. The power of language; ``magic'' words; rhetoric as both an abuse that obscures meaning (or lack of it) and as a power of persuasion; conversation; narratives; foreign languages; the history of English; of Indo-European; and the literary uses of language--all these expand the topics beyond the typical linguistic preoccupation of describing how language is used. Except for Macaulay's disarming ``Envoi,'' revealing his personal experience with linguistics and with gathering authentic examples, especially from his native Scottish dialect, the scope and approach are familiar, indeed self- evident. Competent, noncontroversial, and instructive: it's difficult to determine why a reader would prefer this volume to all the brilliant competition. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The Social Art is an engagingly written, highly accessible tour through the world of languages. Macaulay uses jokes, anecdotes, quotations, and examples to introduce readers to the full range of current linguistic knowledge, covering in 35 chapters, topics like language acquisition, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, dialects, conversation, narrative, swearing, and many others. In this revised and expanded second edition, Macaulay brings the book up to date with the last decade of progress in linguistics, adding more American examples, and updating bibliographies. Two new chapters have been added, on theories of language development and on the evolution of language. The Social Art is perfect for general readers and students who want to learn about what it is that linguists do. Seller Inventory # AAV9780195187960

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. 2nd Revised edition. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. The Social Art is an engagingly written, highly accessible tour through the world of languages. Macaulay uses jokes, anecdotes, quotations, and examples to introduce readers to the full range of current linguistic knowledge, covering in 35 chapters, topics like language acquisition, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, dialects, conversation, narrative, swearing, and many others. In this revised and expanded second edition, Macaulay brings the book up to date with the last decade of progress in linguistics, adding more American examples, and updating bibliographies. Two new chapters have been added, on theories of language development and on the evolution of language. The Social Art is perfect for general readers and students who want to learn about what it is that linguists do. Seller Inventory # BTE9780195187960

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