Language and Social Relations: Structure, Use and Social Significance

Language and Social Relations: Structure, Use and Social Significance

Paperback Studies in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Language

By (author) Asif Agha, Series edited by Judith T. Irvine, Series edited by Bambi B. Schieffelin, Series edited by Marjorie Harness Goodwin, Series edited by Joel C. Kuipers, Series edited by Don Kulick, Series edited by John Lucy, Series edited by Elinor Ochs, Series edited by Michael Silverstein

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  • Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 446 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 224mm x 28mm | 721g
  • Publication date: 31 December 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521576857
  • ISBN 13: 9780521576857
  • Edition: 1
  • Illustrations note: 69 tables
  • Sales rank: 594,346

Product description

Language is closely linked to our social relationships and is the medium through which we participate in a variety of social activities. This fascinating study explores the important role of language in various aspects of our social life, such as identity, gender relations, class, kinship, status, and hierarchies. Drawing on data from over thirty different languages and societies, it shows how language is more than simply a form of social action; it is also an effective tool with which we formulate models of social life and conduct. These models - or particular forms of social behaviour - are linked to the classification of 'types' of action or actor, and are passed 'reflexively' from person to person, and from generation to generation. Providing a unified way of accounting for a variety of social phenomena, this book will be welcomed by all those interested in the interaction between language, culture, and society.

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Author information

Asif Agha is Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania.

Review quote

"Language and Social Relations is the most comprehensive and broad-ranging synthesis to date of a particular perspective on the study of language use..." -Kwai Hang Ng, American Journal of Sociology

Table of contents

1. Reflexivity; 2. From referring to registers; 3. Register formations; 4. The social life of cultural value; 5. Regrouping identity; 6. Registers of person deixis; 7. Honorific registers; 8. Norm and trope in kinship behaviour.