Figures of Speech

Figures of Speech : Six Histories of Language and Identity in the Age of Revolutions

4.25 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.25 (12 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Tim Cassedy's fascinating study examines the role that language played at the turn of the nineteenth century as a marker of one's identity. During this time of revolution (U.S., French, and Haitian) and globalization, language served as a way to categorize people within a world that appeared more diverse than ever. Linguistic differences, especially among English-speakers, seemed to validate the emerging national, racial, local, and regional identity categories that took shape in this new world order.

Focusing on six eccentric characters of the time-from the woman known as "Princess Caraboo" to wordsmith Noah Webster-Cassedy shows how each put language at the center of their identities and lived out the possibilities of their era's linguistic ideas. The result is a highly entertaining and equally informative look at how perceptions about who spoke what language-and how they spoke it-determined the shape of communities in the British American colonies and beyond.

This engagingly written story is sure to appeal to historians of literature, culture, and communication; to linguists and book historians; and to general readers interested in how ideas about English developed in the early United States and throughout the English-speaking world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 296 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 25.4mm | 566.99g
  • Iowa, United States
  • English
  • 59 black & white images, 3 tables
  • 1609386124
  • 9781609386122

About Cassedy Tim

Tim Cassedy is assistant professor of English at Southern Methodist University. He lives in Dallas, Texas.
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Rating details

12 ratings
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3 25% (3)
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