Seldom Ask, Never Tell

Seldom Ask, Never Tell : Labor and Discourse in Appalachia

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Puckett takes a new look at the relationship between language, society, and economics, by examining how people talk about work in a rural Appalachian community. Through careful analysis of conversations in casual yet commercial contexts, she finds that the construction and maintenance of this discourse is essential to the community's socio-economic relationships. The volume will appeal to linguists, anthropologists, and scholars in communications and Appalachian studies.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 326 pages
  • 154.94 x 241.3 x 27.94mm | 544.31g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New
  • line figures
  • 0195102770
  • 9780195102772

Review quote

Ground-breaking ... rich in data ... No book published in the past generation offers a greater wealth of insight on the functions of speech patterns in traditional Appalachia. * Journal of Appalachian Studies * ... a challenging book, drawing extensively and effectively on current anthropological theory and terminology. It will stretch the reader's thinking and penetrate the superficial analysis that has characterized all but a few works on mountain speech ... the author deftly extracts cultural meaning from everyday interactions. * Journal of Appalachian Studies * ... an important, long-needed work that enables us to conceptualize "Appalachian speech" not only in terms of dialect or traditional aesthetic resources, but also according to characteristc "ways of speaking" and the ideology of pragmatics that informs them. * Language in Society * Puckett offers comprehensive and revealing interpretations of the range of communicative practices (verbal and nonverbal) through which Ash Creek residents share labour, exchange goods and services, and access commodities and jobs from outside the community. * Language in Society * By focusing on her empirical data from Ash Creek, Puckett offers a cogent interpretation and defense of speaking practices familiar to others who study Appalachia. She thus provides a baseline for future study of variation and change in speaking patterns within the region. * Language in Society *
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