Books and Resources

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Languages and Dialects in the U.S.: Focus on Diversity and Linguistics

Routledge (March 9, 2014)

Languages and Dialects in the U.S. is a concise introduction to linguistic diversity in the U.S. for students with little to no background in linguistics. The goal of the editors of this collection of fourteen chapters, written by leading experts on the language varieties discussed, is to offer students detailed insight into the languages they speak or hear around them, grounded in comprehensive coverage of the linguistic systems underpinning them. The book begins with “setting the stage” chapters, introducing the sociocultural context of the languages and dialects featured in the book. The remaining chapters are each devoted to particular U.S. dialects and varieties of American English, each with problem sets and suggested further readings to reinforce basic concepts and new linguistic terminology and to encourage further study of the languages and dialects covered.

By presenting students with both the linguistic and social, cultural, and political foundations of these particular dialects and variations of English, Languages and Dialects in the U.S. is the ideal text for students interested in linguistic diversity in the U.S., in introductory courses in sociolinguistics, language and culture, and language variation and change.”(from the publisher)

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The Haitian Creole Language: History, Structure, Use, and Education

Lexington Books (July 16, 2010)

“The Haitian Creole Language is the first book that deals broadly with a language that has too long lived in the shadow of French. With chapters contributed by the leading scholars in the study of Creole, it provides information on this language’s history; structure; and use in education, literature, and social interaction. Although spoken by virtually all Haitians, Creole was recognized as the co-official language of Haiti only a little over twenty years ago. The Haitian Creole Language provides essential information for professionals, other service providers, and Creole speakers who are interested in furthering the use of Creole in Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. Increased language competencies would greatly promote the education of Creole speakers and their participation in the social and political life of their countries of residence. This book is an indispensable tool for those seeking knowledge about the centrality of language in the affairs of Haiti, its people, and its diaspora.” (from the publisher)

black-linguistics

Black Linguistics: Language, Society, and Politics in Africa and the Americas

Routledge (May 19, 2003)

“Enslavement, forced migration, war and colonization have led to the global dispersal of Black communities and to the fragmentation of common experiences.
The majority of Black language researchers explore the social and linguistic phenomena of individual Black communities, without looking at Black experiences outside a given community. This groundbreaking collection re-orders the elitist and colonial elements of language studies by drawing together the multiple perspectives of Black language researchers. In doing so, the book recognises and formalises the existence of a “Black Linguistic Perspective” highlights the contributions of Black language researchers in the field.
Written exclusively by Black scholars on behalf of, and in collaboration with local communities, the book looks at the commonalities and differences among Black speech communities in Africa and the Diaspora. Topics include:

  • the OJ Simpson trial
  • language issues in Southern Africa and Francophone West Africa
  • the language of Hip Hop
  • the language of the Rastafaria in Jamaica

With a foreword by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, this is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the linguistic implications of colonization.” (from the publisher)

Race and Ideology: Language, Symbolism and Popular Culture

African American Life Series
Wayne University Press (September 1999)

“Race and Ideology reveals how various strands of racial thinking and behavior are crucial for maintaining the unequal distribution of wealth that is more pronounced in the U.S. than in any other advanced industrial country. Though primarily concerned with the U.S., this collection contains chapters on other societies in order to highlight commonalties and the global nature of the race/color problem.
This book proposes a new understanding of racism by examining a variety of issues that show how racism and colorism, along with other forms of oppression, are interconnected and maintained by language, symbolism, and popular culture. It includes such topics as how blackness is the symbolic bottom of the U.S. social structure; how the teaching of language and culture can be a tool for understanding inequality; and how the media contribute to the dissemination of stereotypes of people of color.
Race and Ideology offers provocative ideas that must be confronted if we are to construct an understanding of racism that can be useful for social change.” (from the publisher)

The Structure and Status of Pidgins and Creoles: Selected Papers from the Meetings of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics

Creole Language Library, v. 19
John Benjamins Publishing Co. (June 1998)

“Destined to become a landmark work, this book is devoted principally to a reassessment of the content, categories, boundaries, and basic assumptions of pidgin and creole studies. It includes revised and elaborated papers from meetings of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics in addition to commissioned papers from leading scholars in the field. As a group, the papers undertake this reassessment through a reevaluation of pidgin/creole terminology and contact language typology (Section One); a requestioning of process and evolution in pidginization, creolization, and other language contact phenomena (Section Two); a reinterpretation of the sources and genesis of grammatical aspects of Saramaccan and Atlantic creoles in general (Section Three); a reconsideration of the status of languages defying received definitions of pidgins and creoles (Section Four); and analyses of aspects of grammar that shed light on the issue of what a possible creole grammar is (Section Five).” (from the publisher)