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REVIEWS833 F draws implications from the Tshernovits Conference that will prove valuable for linguists and others apprehensive about the outlook for what a recent issue ??Language called 'endangered languages' (Hale et al. 1992). Tshernovits tells a cautionary tale for linguists resolved to see a threatened language endure. After reading YTL, I found that a phrase kept insinuating itself into my thoughts as I arranged them for this review: ? decline to accept the end of Yiddish'. That exact phrasing I couldn't find in the book, and it took some time to realize that I was thinking of the famous declaration from William Faulkner's Nobel Prize speech. Joshua Fishman is light years removed from William Faulkner in heritage, sensibility, and values, but reading F on Yiddish evokes the memory of Faulkner's defiant optimism concerning humankind: ? decline to accept the end of Man ... I believe that Man will not merely endure: He will prevail'. Substitute 'Yiddish' and you will know how Joshua Fishman feels about the fate of the Yiddish language. REFERENCES Fishman, Joshua A. 1965. Yiddish in America. Bloomington: Indiana University Research Center in Anthropology, Folklore and Linguistics. -----. 1987. Ideology, society and language: The Odyssey of Nathan Birnbaum. Ann Arbor, MI: Karoma. Hale, Kenneth; Michael Krauss; Lucille Watahomigie & Akira Yamamoto; Colette Craig; LaVerne Masayesva Jeanne; and Nora England. 1992. Endangered languages. Lg. 68.1-42. Weinreich, Max. 1973. Di geshikhte fun der yidisher shprakh. 4 vols. New York: YIVO Institute of Jewish Research. -----. 1980. History of the Yiddish language. Translated by Shlomo Noble and Joshua A. Fishman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Linguistics Department[Received 15 May 1992.] University of Texas Austin, TX 78712-1196 Erving Goffman: Exploring the interaction order. Edited by Paul Drew and Anthony Wootton. Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1988. Pp. vi, 298. $40.00. Reviewed by R. P. McDermott and John Baugh, Stanford University Assume the social world to be a concert. In their descriptions ofthat world, linguists might focus on the notes and chords, anthropologists on the score and its interpretation, psychologists on the thought processes of the participants, sociologists on the statuses available to each, and economists on the box office. To such a scene, Erving Goffman brought an unusual and special focus. G's social actor always arrived late for the concert and was forced to wander up and down the aisles in search ofa seat. 'Impression management' under difficult circumstances is the 'primal' social task for G, and embarrassment or its avoidance the primal outcome of social activity. From 1953 to 1983, G produced eleven volumes and a handful of papers from the perspective of a person on the periphery, a person somehow irrevocably 834LANGUAGE, VOLUME 68, NUMBER 4 (1992) locked both into and out of a schedule of interaction with others. In his last decade, starting with Frame analysis (1974), there was a radical shift. The phenomenon remained the same, but there was a change in the concepts used in the analysis. If early G is about strategists showing off their best while hiding their worst, later G, perhaps following a stunning critique by Harold Garfinkel in Studies in ethnomethodology (1967), is about persons together trying to grasp, organize, and display the choreography by which identities—whether celebrated or abused—are delivered as resources for use in interaction. The book under review offers eight chapters assessing and building on the contribution of G's momentarily but irrevocably left-out social actor to the study of the whole concert. G was generally reticent about applying his findings on face-to-face interaction to phenomena located by other theoretical perspectives . Many of the papers try to stretch G to topics about which he was directly silent, namely, the methods he used (Robin Williams defends both his methods, whatever they were, and his silence), his relation to other social theorists (Randall Collins on G as a Durkheimian; Anthony Giddens and P. M. Strong both on the relation between G's 'micro' sociology and the more 'macro' concerns of most other sociologies), and his appreciation of and implications for conversational analysis (Emanuel Schegloff), linguistics (Stephen Levinson), and the systematic description of the behavior of concerted activities (Adam Kendon, in a lovely summary; Christian Heath with...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 833-836
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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