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Book Reviews : The Social History of Language: (Cambridge Studies in Oral and Literate Culture, No.12), edited by Peter Burke and Roy Porter. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, x+219 pp. $A32.50 (paperback)

McHoul, A.W. (1989) Book Reviews : The Social History of Language: (Cambridge Studies in Oral and Literate Culture, No.12), edited by Peter Burke and Roy Porter. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, x+219 pp. $A32.50 (paperback). Journal of Sociology, 25 (2). pp. 314-318.

Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/144078338902500225
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Abstract

The articles in this book each work at one of three levels: the level of entire national languages (as opposed, for example, to dialects) ; the level of particular modes of verbal expression (such as proverbs or signatures); and the level of individual words and concepts (such as ’revolution’ and vertu). At first sight, a short and expensive collection of papers like this may not seem to have great appeal to Australian and New Zealand sociologists. But, in this case, taking a second look does pay dividends. There are a number of reasons why the book claims our attention. Below, I will briefly outline what I think these are before raising an objection to a central assumption behind the work.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Humanities
Publisher: Sage
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/9674
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