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Figural Language in the Novel

Ramon Saldivar

Novels affirm the power of fiction to portray the horizons of knowledge and to dramatize the ways that the truths of human existence are created and preserved. Professor Saldivar shows that deconstructive readings of novels remind us that we do not apprehend the world directly but through interpretive codes.

Originally published in 1984.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Focusing the Familiar

A Translation and Philosophical Interpretation of the Zhongyong

Roger T. Ames and David L. Hall

The Zhongyong--translated here as Focusing the Familiar--has been regarded as a document of enormous wisdom for more than two millennia and is one of Confucianism's most sacred and seminal texts. It achieved truly canonical preeminence when it became one of the Four Books compiled and annotated by the Southern Song dynasty philosopher Zhu Xi (1130-1200). Within the compass of world literature, the influence of these books (Analects of Confucius, Great Learning, Zhongyong, and Mencius) on the Sinitic world of East Asia has been no less than the Bible and the Qu'ran on Western civilization. With this new translation David Hall and Roger Ames provide a distinctly philosophical interpretation of the Zhongyong, remaining attentive to the semantic and conceptual nuances of the text to account for its central place within classical Chinese literature. They present the text in such a way as to provide Western philosophers and other intellectuals access to a set of interpretations and arguments that offer new insights into issues and concerns common to both Chinese and Western thinkers. In addition to the annotated translation, a glossary of terms gives in concise form important senses of the terms that play a key role in the argument of the Zhongyong. An appendix addresses some of the more technical issues relevant to the understanding of both the history of the text and the history of its English translations. Here the translators introduce readers to the best contemporary textual studies of the Zhongyong and make use of the most recent archaeological discoveries in China to place the work within its own intellectual context.

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Form, Meaning, and Focus in American Sign Language

Miako N. P. Rankin

The meaning of any linguistic expression resides not only in the words, but also in the ways that those words are conveyed. In her new study, Miako N. P. Rankin highlights the crucial interrelatedness of form and meaning at all levels in order to consider specific types of American Sign Language (ASL) expression. In particular, Form, Meaning, and Focus in American Sign Language, Miako N. P. Rankin considers how ASL non-agent focus, similar to the meaning of passive voice in English. Rankin’s analyses of the form-meaning correspondences of ASL expressions of non-agent focus reveals an underlying pattern that can be traced across sentence and verb types. This pattern produces meanings with various levels of focus on the agent. Rankin has determined in her meticulous study that the pattern of form-meaning characteristic of non-agent focus in ASL is used prolifically in day-to-day language. The recognition of the frequency of this pattern holds implications regarding the acquisition of ASL, the development of curricula for teaching ASL, and the analysis of ASL discourse in effective interpretation.

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Frequency of Occurrence and Ease of Articulation of Sign Language Handshapes

The Taiwanese Example

Jean Ann

In the growing body of research on sign language linguistics, one area of inquiry considers an important component of all sign languages — handshapes — and whether the use of specific kinds increase in direct relation to the ease of their formation. Author Jean Ann provides significant clarification in her book Frequency of Occurrence and Ease of Articulation of Sign Language Handshapes: The Taiwanese Example. Ann employs a straightforward methodology in her examination of the use of Taiwan Sign Language (TSL) handshapes in five succinct chapters. In the first chapter, she discusses the two approaches linguists have taken toward understanding languages, and how these theories have influenced sign language researchers’ consideration of the ease of articulation and frequency of handshapes. In her second chapter, Ann delineates the physiology of hands and explains why certain digits move with greater dexterity than others. Ann applies this physiological information in the third chapter to construct a model for determining the ease of articulation of any logically possible handshape. She divides the handshapes into three categories, ranging from impossible to easy. In the fourth chapter, she applies her model to examine the patterns of TSL, first by describing the 56 handshapes identified in TSL, then determining how often each is used. She then compares the usage data to the handshapes’ ease of formation. The final chapter summarizes her findings and suggests implications of this work that are bound to generate further speculation and study on sign language handshapes in the future.

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Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics (GURT) 2001

Linguistics, Language, and the Real WorldDiscourse and Beyond

Deborah Tannen and James E. Alatis, Editors

GURT is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the world's star gatherings for scholars in the fields of language and linguistics. In 2001, the best from around the world in the disciplines of anthropological linguistics and discourse analysis meet to present and share the latest research on linguistic analysis and to address real-world contexts in private and public domains. The result is this newest, invaluable 2001 edition of the Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics. This volume brings together the plenary speakers only, all leaders in their fields, showcasing discourse contexts that range from medical interactions to political campaigns, from classroom discourse and educational policy to current affairs, and to the importance of everyday family conversations. The contributors expand the boundaries of discourse to include narrative theory, music and language, laughter in conversation, and the ventriloquizing of voices in dialogue.

Frederick Erickson explores the musical basis of language in an elementary school classroom; Wallace Chafe analyzes laughter in conversation. William Labov examines narratives told to South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, while Deborah Schiffrin compares multiple accounts of Holocaust narratives, and Alessandro Duranti considers competing speaker and audience interpretations during a political candidate's campaign tour. Robin Lakoff uncovers contrasting narratives shared by different cultural groups with respect to such current events as the O.J. Simpson trial. Deborah Tannen examines the integration of power and connection in family relationships, while Heidi Hamilton considers accounts that diabetic patients give their doctors. Shirley Brice Heath looks at discourse strategies used by policymakers to deny research findings, and G. Richard Tucker and Richard Donato report on a successful bilingual program.

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A Grammar of Mavea

An Oceanic Language of Vanuatu

by Valerie Guerin

Spoken on Mavea Island by approximately 32 people, Mavea is an endangered Oceanic language of Vanuatu. This work provides grammatical descriptions of this hitherto undescribed language. Fourteen chapters, containing more than 1,400 examples, cover topics in the phonology and morphosyntax of Mavea, with an emphasis on the latter. Of particular interest are examples of individual speaker variation presented throughout the grammar; the presence of three linguo-labials (still used today by a single speaker) that were unexpectedly found before the rounded vowel /o/; and a chapter on numerals and the counting system, which have long been replaced by Bislama’s but are remembered by a handful of speakers.

Most of the grammatical descriptions derive from a corpus of texts of various genres (conversations, traditional stories, personal histories, etc.) gathered during the author’s fieldwork, conducted for eleven months between 2005 and 2007.

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Grand Theory in Folkloristics

Edited by Lee Haring

Why is there no "Grand Theory" in the study of folklore? Talcott Parsons (1902–1979) advocated "grand theory," which put the analysis of social phenomena on a new track in the broadest possible terms. Not all sociologists or folklorists accept those broad terms; some still adhere to the empirical level. Through a forum sponsored by the American Folklore Society, the diverse answers to the question of such a theory arrived at substantial agreement: American folklorists have produced little "grand theory." One speaker even found all the theory folklorists need in the history of philosophy. The two women in the forum (Noyes and Mills) spoke in defense of theory that is local, "apt," suited to the audience, and "humble"; the men (Bauman and Fine) reached for something Parsons might have recognized. The essays in this collection, developed from the forum presentations, defend diverse positions, but they largely accept the longstanding concentration in American folkloristics on the quotidian and local.

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