Languages and Jargons

Languages and Jargons : Contributions to a Social History of Language

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Languages and Jargons is a contribution to the social history of language. This volume is particularly concerned with the special semi-private languages, dialects or jargons developed by different social groups, whether they are professions, like lawyers, doctors and teachers, voluntary associations like the Masons, social classes, or groups on the margin of society, such as beggars or Gypsies.The contributors are concerned to describe these jargons as they were spoken in particular places and times, to analyse their functions (which range from keeping secrets from outsiders to reinforcing a sense of collective identity), and to account for change over time. They also study the relations between these forms of speech and their speakers and the outside world - the rejection of jargon, the domestication of technical terms, and the transformation of former jargons into ordinary languages. The volume is mainly concerned with different forms of English from the 16th to the 20th century, but some contributors range further afield, from Calo to Urdu. Languages and Jargons will be of particular interest to students and scholars in social and cultural history, linguistics and sociolinguistics, and anthropology.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 166.9 x 231.9 x 28.2mm | 716.68g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 2nd ed.
  • 0
  • 0745612792
  • 9780745612799

Table of contents

Introduction: Peter Burke. 1. The Jargon of the Schools: Peter Burke. 2. "Perplex't with Tough Names": the Uses of Medical Jargon: Roy Porter. 3. Anti-language or Jargon? Canting in the English Underworld in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries: Lee Beier. 4. Calo: The "Secret" Language of the Gypsies of Spain: John Geipel. 5. Masonics, Metaphor and Misogyny: a Discourse of Marginality: Mary Mulvey Roberts. 6. Jargon of Class: Rhetoric and Leadership in British Labour Politics, 1830-1880: Timothy R. Burns. 7. "The Jargon of Indostan" - an Exploration of Jargon in Urdu and East India Company English: Javed Majeed. Index.show more

About Peter Burke

EDITED BY: Peter Burke, Emmanuel College, Cambridge Roy Porter, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicineshow more

Review quote

"Scholarly and wide-ranging contributions consider the different functions of jargon and the overlap where a separate language may decline or even emerge ... I hope that the editors will set out on a fourth journey of linguistic exploration in due course." Times Higher Education Supplement "The idea of introducing historical detail and empirical rigour into the field of discourse pragmatics is both exciting and timely." Discourse and Societyshow more

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