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REVIEWS439 merits a bit over a page, which is probably right, given its lack of influence on sociolinguistics. Michael Silverstein, again an important influence in anthropological linguistics but not sociolinguistics , takes up the bulk of this five-page chapter. Sociolinguistics at Georgetown, one of the two most important centers ofthe discipline, especially in the 1970s, receives an entire paragraph. Ch. 1 1 (240-46) deals with the decline of interest in language among contemporary American anthropologists. A final chapter (247-58) presents M's conclusions in the context of the model of the sociology of science that he follows. The 'Appendix on methods' (259-68) is one of the more interesting sections of the book. This may be a fine book—if one is interested in the history of anthropological linguistics. I leave that assessment to workers in that discipline. Sociolinguists, on the other hand, will note that NWAVE, arguably the world's premier sociolinguistics conference since its inception in the 1970s, is not mentioned at all. Looking through the list of participants at NWAV(E) 27 (1998), I noted three sociolinguists—Ralph Fasold, William Labov, and Walt Wolfram—who are mentioned (two of them barely mentioned) in M's book. Presenting papers at NWAV(E), but not mentioned by M are nineteen scientists—including Guy Bailey, Crawford Feagin, Connie EbIe, Lesley Milroy, and Dennis Preston—who have been among the foremost practitioners of sociolinguistics over the past three decades. To this sociolinguist, M's presentation of our discipline is analogous to a geographer's description of the Mississippi drainage by conducting a microscopic examination of the Ohio, Kentucky, Kenawa, Missouri, Yellowstone, and Natchez Rivers—and then mentioning that a lot of water flows down a channel between Minnesota and New Orleans. REFERENCES Coates, Jennifer, and Deborah Cameron (eds.) 1988. Women in their speech communities: New perspectives on language and sex. New York: Longman. Labov, William. 1972. Sociolinguistic patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Lakoff, Robin Tolmach. 1975. Language and woman's place. New York: Harper & Row. Murray, Stephen O. 1994. Theory groups and the study of language in North America. Amsterdam: Tohn Benjamins. Weinrekm Uriel; William Labov; and Marvin I. Herzog. 1968. Empirical foundations for a theory of language change. Directions for historical linguistics, ed. by Winfred P. Lehmann and Yakov Malkiel, 97-195. Austin: University of Texas Press. Department of English University of Cincinnati PO Box 210069 Cincinnati, OH 45221-0069 [carl.mills@uc.edu.] Language obsolescence and revitalization: Linguistic change in two sociolinguistically contrasting Welsh communities. By Mari C. Jones. (Oxford studies in language contact.) Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998. Pp. 452. Reviewed by Bernard Spolsky, Bar-Ilan University This volume is a fine contribution to the growing literature on language attrition and death, a valuable addition to the Oxford Studies in Language Contact, and a sad reminder of what the scholarly world will lose if the Oxford Press Syndics stand by their decision that the Clarendon imprint will go the way of the Oxford Poets. Jones has reworked a doctoral dissertation into a revealing study of the nature of language attrition in two Welsh communities. Combining techniques that permit scrutiny of the observable microlinguistic changes, of the associated social psychological attitudes, and of the macrosociological context in which the changes are occurring, the book reveals the continuing shrinking in 440LANGUAGE, VOLUME 76, NUMBER 2 (2000) the domains in which the Welsh language is used and the associated attrition in Welsh language proficiency of the remaining speakers. Balancing this dismal view of another dying language, J examines the extent and effect of current efforts to revive and revitalize the language. It is in relation to this that a second major theme emerges, namely the way in which the process of language attrition is associated with an even faster process of dialect loss, exacerbated ironically by the success of school programs to teach Welsh (but standard rather than dialect Welsh) to those who have not learned it at home. If this were all, this would be a very valuable and important book, but there is more. A full account of historical language policy vis-à-vis the Welsh language provides valuable data for considering the limited effects of explicit language policy...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 439-441
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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