Language, our primary tool of thought and perception, is at the heart of who we are as individuals. Languages are constantly changing, sometimes into entirely new varieties of speech, leading to subtle differences in how we present ourselves to others.
This revealing account brings together twelve leading specialists from the fields of linguistics, anthropology, philosophy, and psychology, to explore the fascinating relationship between language, culture, and social interaction. A range of major questions are discussed: How does language influence our perception of the world? How do new languages emerge? How do children learn to use language appropriately? What factors determine language choice in bi- and multilingual communities? How far does language contribute to the formation of our personalities? And finally, in what ways does language make us human?
"Language, Culture, and Society" will be essential reading for all those interested in language and its crucial role in our social lives.
0. Introduction: Walking through
1. An issue about language
2. Linguistic relativities
3. Benjamin Lee Whorf and the Boasian foundations of contemporary ethnolinguistics
4. Cognitive anthropology
5. Methodological issues in cross-language color naming
6. Pidgins and creoles genesis: an anthropological offering
8. The impact of language socialization on grammatical development
9. Intimate grammars: anthropological and psychoanalytic accounts of language, gender, and desire
10. Maximizing ethnopoetics: fine-tuning anthropological experience
11. Interpreting language variation and change