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Nationalizing Language in Modern Japan
Available for the first time in English, The Ideology of Kokugo: Nationalizing Language in Modern Japan (1996) is Lee Yeounsuk’s award-winning look at the history and ideology behind the construction of kokugo (national language). Prior to the Meiji Period (1868–1912), the idea of a single, unified Japanese language did not exist. Only as Japan was establishing itself as a modern nation-state and an empire with expanding colonies did there arise the need for a national language to construct and sustain its national identity.
Re-examining debates and controversies over genbun itchi (unification of written and spoken languages) and other language reform movements, Lee discusses the contributions of Ueda Kazutoshi (1867–1937) and Hoshina Koichi (1872–1955) in the creation of kokugo and moves us one step closer to understanding how the ideology of kokugo cast a spell over linguistic identity in modern Japan. She examines the notion of the unshakable homogeneity of the Japanese language—a belief born of the political climate of early-twentieth-century Japan and its colonization of other East Asian countries—urging us to pay attention to the linguistic consciousness that underlies "scientific" scholarship and language policies. Her critical discussion of the construction of kokugo uncovers a strain of cultural nationalism that has been long nurtured in Japan’s education system and academic traditions. The ideology of kokugo, argues Lee, must be recognized both as an academic apparatus and a political concept
The Ideology of Kokugo was the first work to explore Japan’s linguistic consciousness at the dawn of its modernization. It will therefore be of interest to not only linguists, but also historians, anthropologists, political scientists, and scholars in the fields of education and cultural studies.
Conditions, Processes, and Knowledge in SLA and Bilingualism
Over the last several decades, neuroscientists, cognitive psychologists, and psycholinguists have investigated the implicit and explicit continuum in language development and use from theoretical, empirical, and methodological perspectives. This book addresses these perspectives in an effort to build connections among them and to draw pedagogical implications when possible.
The volume includes an examination of the psychological and neurological processes of implicit and explicit learning, what aspects of language learning can be affected by explicit learning, and the effects of bilingualism on the mental processing of language. Rigorous empirical research investigations probe specific aspects of acquiring morphosyntax and phonology, including early input, production, feedback, age, and study abroad. A final section explores the rich insights provided into language processing by bilingualism, including such major areas as aging, third language acquisition, and language separation.
Can there be such a thing as an impossible human language? A biologist could describe an impossible animal as one that goes against the physical laws of nature (entropy, for example, or gravity). Are there any such laws that constrain languages? In this book, Andrea Moro—a distinguished linguist and neuroscientist—investigates the possibility of impossible languages, searching, as he does so, for the indelible “fingerprint” of human language. Moro shows how the very notion of impossible languages has helped shape research on the ultimate aim of linguistics: to define the class of possible human languages. He takes us beyond the boundaries of Babel, to the set of properties that, despite appearances, all languages share, and explores the sources of that order, drawing on scientific experiments he himself helped design. Moro compares syntax to the reverse side of a tapestry revealing a hidden and apparently intricate structure. He describes the brain as a sieve, considers the reality of (linguistic) trees, and listens for the sound of thought by recording electrical activity in the brain. Words and sentences, he tells us, are like symphonies and constellations: they have no content of their own; they exist because we listen to them and look at them. We are part of the data.
Impossible Persons, Daniel Harbour’s comprehensive and groundbreaking formal theory of grammatical person, upends understanding of a universal and ubiquitous grammatical category. Breaking with much past work, Harbour establishes three core theses, one empirical, one theoretical, and one metatheoretical. Together, these redefine the data subsumed under the rubric of “person,” simplify the feature inventory that a theory of person must posit, and restructure the metatheory in which feature theory as a whole resides. At its heart, Impossible Persons poses a simple question of the possible versus the actual: in how many ways could languages configure their person systems, in how many do they configure them, and what explains the size and shape of the shortfall? Harbour’s empirical thesis—that the primary object of study for persons are partitions, not syncretisms—transforms a sea of data into a categorical problem of the attested and the absent. Positing, innovatively, that features denote actions, not predicates, he shows that two features alone generate all and only the attested systems. This apparently poor inventory yields rich explanatory dividends, covering the morphological composition of person, its interaction with number, its connection to space, and properties of its semantics and linearization. Moreover, the core properties of this approach are shared with Harbour’s earlier work on number features. Jointly, these results establish an important metatheoretical corollary concerning the balance between richness of feature semantics and restrictiveness of feature inventories. This corollary holds deep implications for how linguists should approach feature theory in future.
"What is the 'meaning' of names like Coosa and Tallapoosa? Who named the Alabama and Tombigbee and Tennessee rivers? How are Cheaha and Conecuh and Talladega pronounced? How did Opelika and Tuscaloosa get their names? Questions like these, which are asked by laymen as well as by historians, geographers, and students of the English language, can be answered only by study of the origins and history of the Indian names that dot the map of Alabama.—from the Foreword
Originally published by Professor Read in 1937, this volume was revised, updated, and annotated in 1984 by James B. McMillan and remains the single best compedium on the topic.
Linguistic, Usage, and Status Issues
International Sign (IS) is widely used among deaf people and interpreters at international events, but what exactly is it, m what are its linguistic features, where does its lexicon come from, and do all signers understand it in the same way? This groundbreaking collection is the first volume to provide answers to these questions. Editors Rachel Rosenstock and Jemina Napier have assembled an international group of renowned linguists and interpreters to examine various aspects of International Sign. Their contributions are divided into three parts: International Sign as a Language; International Sign in Action—Interpreting, Translation, and Teaching; and International Sign Policy and Language Planning. The articles cover a range of topics including the morpho-syntactic and discursive structures of interpreted IS, the effect on comprehension of the interplay between conventional linguistic elements and nonconventional gestural elements in IS discourse, how deaf singers who use different signed languages establish communication, Deaf/hearing IS interpreting teams and how they sign depicting verbs, how best to teach foundation-level IS skills, the work of the International Sign Interpreting Assessment and Certification project, and explorations of the best ways to prepare interpreters for international events.
Nineteen international interpreting authorities contribute their research and findings to Interpreting in Multilingual, Multicultural Contexts, the seventh volume in the Studies in Interpretation series. These experts probe the complex nature of interpreted interaction involving Deaf and hearing people of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds. They also analyze the contextualized interpreting practices and considerations that transpire from this diversity.
Gender and Language in Later Middle English Writing
In Inventing Womanhood, Tara Williams investigates new ideas about womanhood that arose in fourteenth-century Britain and evolved throughout the fifteenth century. In the aftermath of the plague and the substantial cultural shifts of the late 1300s, female roles expanded temporarily. As a result, the dominant models of maiden, wife, and widow could no longer adequately describe women’s roles and lives. Middle English writers responded by experimenting with new ways of representing women across a variety of genres, from courtly poetry to devotional texts and from royal correspondence to cycle plays. In particular, writers coined new terms, including “womanhood” and “femininity,” and refashioned others, such as “motherhood.” These experiments allowed writers to develop and define a larger idea of womanhood underlying more specific identities like wife or mother and to re-imagine women’s relationships to different kinds of authority—generally masculine and frequently religious. By exploring the medieval origins of some of our most important gender vocabulary, Inventing Womanhood defamiliarizes our modern usage, which often treats those terms as etymologically transparent and almost limitlessly capacious. It also restores a necessary historical and linguistic dimension to gender studies, providing the groundwork for reconsidering how that language and the categories it creates have determined the ways in which gender has been imagined since the Middle Ages.