This book is an exploration of current approaches to the linguistic, cultural and social interpretation of texts in diverse contexts of English. By investigating an array of different discourses, we aim to bring to the fore a variety of social and cultural representations and to illustrate the way in which represented participants are generally em-bedded in social, political, and cultural practices through and in the language. A glance at the contents of the book will immediately reveal that this is an unusual, and maybe uncomfortable, type of academic publication, at least within the complex Italian academic context. Indeed, corpus linguists may well define the volume as an un-‘principled’ collection of texts. However, the rationale behind this purposefully unsystematic assortment of essays resides in the fact that it is only by adopting different, though somewhat contiguous, linguistic, cultural and social perspectives that researchers can comprehensively approach a variety of texts when seeking out the covert meaning-making structures of different discourses. The editors’ initial stance, when deciding to assemble this volume, stemmed from the consideration that every time we engage with language in order to represent our world, social practices inevitably influence the way we talk, think, and decode/encode texts. Consequently, we decided that one of the issues this book needed to face and overcome was the rigid separation between sibling cultural phenomena expressed through language. Strict topical boundaries can, indeed, exclude some important perspectives and impede a thorough understanding of the way language works. This book promotes the working hypothesis that those involved in academic research in the field of linguistic, translation and cultural studies must necessarily engage with an unprecedented and simultaneous exploration of language, social interaction, and diverse forms of representation in society. As such forms are always reflected in expressions of identity, we strongly posit that the realm of subjects and topics confined to each of our individual disciplines should be expanded and extended to encompass all possible perspectives and practical methodologies, including those belonging to neighbouring disciplines. This book revolves around a constellation of topics investigated from multiple disciplinary and methodological perspectives ranging from multimodality, critical discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, pragmatics to translation and audio-visual translation, literature and cultural studies. As a whole, the volume delves into the relationship between language, theory and society, as the title suggests, though each essay might deal with only one subset of this constellation. Each chapter provides detailed reading of a particular text or event, providing examples of some key methodologies for the critical analysis of language and society. The book is designed for readers who have an interest in English, but who do not necessarily have any detailed background knowledge of linguistics or other forms of language, social, or cultural studies. All the texts analysed in this volume are self-contained instantiations of language in use. They are instances of real communication, in real social contexts of use. A cultural approach, for ex-ample, can reveal meanings and patterns in literary texts that cannot be retrieved by means of more traditional linguistic analyses based on grammatical, lexical or phonological investigations. Through a contextually oriented approach of this kind much can be revealed about specific discourses in order to raise questions about the relationship between language and culture, or even language, power and ideology. The editors’ view of language inevitably focuses on the social and cultural contexts in which language operates, considering it to be a discourse-based social activity which may adjust to, or indeed contest, reality depending on the specific circumstance. This view is very much in line with the following apt comment provided by Ed-ward Sapir, with which we would like to conclude this introductory foreword and leave the floor to the reader’s critical engagement with Language, Theory and Society: "it is quite an illusion to imagine that one adjusts to reality essentially without the use of language and that language is merely an incidental means of solving specific problems of communication or reflection" (Sapir, 1958 : 69).
|Titolo:||Language, Theory & Society. Essays on English Linguistics and Culture.|
Nisco, Maria Cristina (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||7.1 Curatela|