English: Meaning and Culture

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9780195174755: English: Meaning and Culture

It is widely accepted that English is the first truly global language and lingua franca. Its dominance has even led to its use and adaptation by local communities for their own purposes and needs. One might see English in this context as being simply a neutral, universal vehicle for the expression of local thoughts and ideas. In fact, English words and phrases have embedded in them a wealth of cultural baggage that is invisible to most native speakers. Anna Wierzbicka, a distinguished linguist known for her theories of semantics, has written the first book that connects the English language with what she terms "Anglo" culture. Wierzbicka points out that language and culture are not just interconnected, but inseparable. This is evident to non-speakers trying to learn puzzling English expressions. She uses original research to investigate the "universe of meaning" within the English language (both grammar and vocabulary) and places it in historical and geographical perspective. For example, she looks at the history of the terms "right" and "wrong" and how with the influence of the Reformation "right" came to mean "correct." She examines the ideas of "fairness" and "reasonableness" and shows that, far from being cultural universals, they are in fact unique creations of modern English. This engrossing and fascinating work of scholarship should appeal not only to linguists and others concerned with language and culture, but the large group of scholars studying English and English as a second language.

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Book Description:

A great book, one which must be applauded. The strength of the book is to propose a kind of linguistics which takes into account the various, subtle, rich, and extremely interesting interactions between language and cultural scripts. Given that books like this are rare, the author deserves countless words of praise. ( Alessandro Capone, Studies in Language)

This is a striking contribution to the history of English, and the history of ideas ( Jonathan Hope, TLS)

...this is a great book, one which must be applauded. The strength of the book is to propose a kind of linguistics which takes into account the various, subtle, rich, and extremely interesting interactions between language and cultural scripts. Given that books like this are rare, the author deserves countless words of praise. ( Studies in Language)

About the Author:

Anna Wierzbicka is Professor of Linguistics at Australian National University. She has an international reputation for her work on semantics, pragmatics, and cross-cultural linguistics. Other published works include What Did Jesus Mean? (OUP, 2001), Semantics, Culture, and Cognition (OUP, 1992), and Semantic Primitives, in which she is credited with establishing the Natural Semantic Metalanguage.

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Wierzbicka, Anna
Editore: Oxford University Press (2006)
ISBN 10: 0195174755 ISBN 13: 9780195174755
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, 2006. Condizione libro: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: Life in Full color is a collection of moments and personal experiences that invite the reader to pause and reflect on each lesson hidden behind the stories. Writing in a pleasant style, sparkling and full of hope and joy, the author opens her heart and shares highlights of her days to encourage us to take the reins of our lives, to grow and become better persons, human beings capable of leaving an indelible mark in our journey through this world. Codice libro della libreria ABE_book_new_0195174755

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