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Inventing Womanhood

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.

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An Irish-Speaking Island

State, Religion, Community, and the Linguistic Landscape in Ireland, 1770–1870

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Isan Writers, Thai Literature

Writing and Regionalism in Modern Thailand

Martin B. Platt

Regional characteristics and regional language feature prominently in discussions of Thai identity, but there is little mention of regional literatures. In northeastern Thailand’s Isan region, authors write primarily in Thai, but it is possible nonetheless to identify an Isan literature, which played a significant and at times pivotal role in the development of Thai literature in the second half of the 20th century, as authors grappled with how their origins and experiences related to the Thai centre. Martin Platt’s account of Isan literature is an important first step toward a broader study of regional literatures in Thailand, and shapes a model that has relevance for examining literary works in other Asian countries.

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It's Not What You Sign, It's How You Sign It

Politeness in American Sign Language

Jack Hoza

The general stereotype regarding interaction between American Sign Language and English is a model of oversimplification: ASL signers are direct and English speakers are indirect. Jack Hoza’s study It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It: Politeness in American Sign Language upends this common impression through an in-depth comparison of the communication styles between these two language communities. Hoza investigates relevant social variables in specific contexts and explores the particular linguistic strategies ASL signers and English speakers employ when they interact in these contexts. It’s Not What You Sign, It’s How You Sign It is framed within politeness theory, an apt model to determine various interpretations of what speakers or signers mean in respect to the form of that which they say or sign. The variations reveal how linguistic and cultural differences intersect in ways that are often misinterpreted or overlooked in cross-c+AP23ultural communication. To clarify these cross-linguistic differences, this volume explores two primary types of politeness and the linguistic strategies used by English speakers and ASL signers to express politeness concerns in face-to-face interaction. Hoza’s final analysis leads to a better understanding of the rich complexity of the linguistic choices of these language groups.

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Japanese English

Language and Culture Contact

James Stanlaw

This book gives an in-depth analysis of the use of the English language in modern Japan. It explores the many ramifications the Japanese-English language and culture contact situation has for not only Japanese themselves, but also others in the international community.

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Journal of Slavic Linguistics

Vol. 16 (2008) through current issue

The Journal of Slavic Linguistics is intended to address issues in the description and analysis of Slavic languages of general interest to linguists, regardless of theoretical orientation. It publishes papers dealing with any aspect of synchronic or diachronic Slavic phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, or pragmatics which raise substantive problems of broad theoretical concern or propose significant descriptive generalizations. Comparative studies and formal analyses are also published. JSL is the official journal of the Slavic Linguistics Society (http://www.slaviclinguistics.org/), whose purpose is to create a community of students and scholars interested in Slavic linguistics, i.e., the systematic and scholarly study of the Slavic languages

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Kingdom of Mankon

Aspects of History, Language, Culture, Flora and Fauna

This book is a descriptive and documentary analysis of the Mankon I-language and E-language mirrored through aspects of history, geography, flora and fauna. These aspects manifest in the taxonomic nomenclatures attributed to referents in society. Because these referents were hitherto transmitted orally from generation to generation, the author has painstakingly analysed and documented aspects of Mankon culture for posterity. The work focuses in particular on Mankon proverbs for insights into the structure and function of the language. As a vehicle of communication, language plays a primordial role in encoding and decoding ëmetalinguisticí data. Through thorough scientific linguistic universals and principals, Chi Che has proposed orthography for Mankon pedagogy that is simple, tenable and practicable. This book is the answer to the international clarion call for societies to analyse and document their endangered indigenous cultures. Schools, linguists, sociolinguists, anthropologists, historians and others will find this book especially useful.

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Life and Language in Amana

Founded as a communal society in 1855 by German Pietists, the seven villages of Iowa’s Amana Colonies make up a community whose crafts, architecture, and institutions reflect—and to an extent perpetuate—the German heritage of earlier residents. In this intriguing blend of sociolinguistic research and stories from Colonists both past and present, Philip Webber examines the rich cultural and linguistic traditions of the Amanas.

Although the Colonies are open to the outside world, particularly after the Great Change of 1932, many distinctive vestiges of earlier lifeways survive, including the local variety of German known by its speakers as Kolonie-Deutsch. Drawing upon interviews with more than fifty Amana-German speakers in 1989 and 1990, Webber explores the nuances of this home-grown German, signaling the  development of local microdialects, the changing pattern in the use of German in the Colonies, and the reciprocal influence of English and German on residents’ speech. By letting his sources tell their own stories of earlier days, in which the common message seems to be wir haben fun gehabt or “we had fun working together,” he illuminates the history and unique qualities of each Colony through the prism of language study.

Webber’s introduction to this paperback edition provides an up-to-date itinerary for visitors to the Colonies, information about recent publications on Amana history and culture, and an overview of expanded research opportunities for language study and historical inquiry. The result is an informative and engaging study that will be appreciated by linguists, anthropologists, and historians as well as by general readers interested in these historic villages.

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A Re-evaluation of a Common Genetic Origin

Alexander Vovin

The Japonic (Japanese and Ryukyuan) portmanteau language family and the Korean language have long been considered isolates on the fringe of northeast Asia. Although in the last fifty years many specialists in Japonic and Korean historical linguistics have voiced their support for a genetic relationship between the two, this concept has not been endorsed by general historical linguists and no significant attempts have been made to advance beyond the status quo. Alexander Vovin, a longtime advocate of the genetic relationship view, engaged in a reanalysis of the known data in the hope of finding evidence in support of this position. In the process of his work, however, he became convinced that the multiple similarities between Japonic and Korean are the result of several centuries of contact and do not descend from a hypothetical common ancestor.

In Koreo-Japonica, Vovin carefully reviews recent advances in the reconstruction of both language families. His detailed analysis of most of the morphological and lexical comparisons offered so far shows that whenever the proposed comparisons are not due to pure chance, they can almost always be explained as borrowings from Korean into a central group of Japanese dialects from roughly between the third and eighth centuries A.D. The remaining group of lexical (but not morphological) comparisons that cannot be explained in this way is, he argues, too small to serve as proof of even a distant genetic relationship.

In this volume, a leading historical linguist presents a significant challenge to a view widely held by Japonic and Korean historical linguistics on the relationship between the two language families and offers material support for the skepticism long espoused by general historical linguists on the matter. His findings will both challenge and illuminate issues of interest to all linguists working with language contact and typology as well as those concerned with the prehistory and early history of East Asia.

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La Traduction spécialisée

Une approche professionnelle à l’enseignement de la traduction

(1) Federica Scarpa (2) Traduit et adapté par Marco A. Fiola

Cet ouvrage présente les fondements théoriques et les principes méthodologiques de la traduction spécialisée en général, et plus particulièrement de la traduction spécialisée de l'anglais vers le français. Il s'ouvre sur une description des particularités des langues de spécialité portant sur une typologie des textes et une classification des genres textuels. Une étude comparative fait ressortir les similitudes et les différences qui marquent la langue de spécialité par rapport à la langue générale. L'ouvrage présente ensuite des stratégies à adopter dans la traduction d'un texte à partir de trois perspectives : les caractéristiques textuelles et rhétoriques du texte spécialisé, les aspects morphosyntaxiques de la langue de la spécialité et finalement, les aspects lexicaux et terminologiques du type textuel. Des chapitres entiers abordent les caractéristiques de la traduction de textes spécialisés, la notion d'équivalence, la méthodologie de la traduction spécialisée et le contrôle de la qualité des traductions. L'ouvrage se termine par un chapitre sur les débouchés qui s'offrent au langagier qui s'apprête à entreprendre une carrière de communicateur interlinguistique spécialisé.

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