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Speaking Culturally

Language Diversity in the United States

Fern L. Johnson Clark University
© 1999   384 pages   SAGE Publications, Inc   
Sixty Day Exam Copy
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Paperback ISBN: 9780803959125 $67.00
Hardcover ISBN: 9780803959118 $106.00

In Speaking Culturally: Language Diversity in the United States, author Fern Johnson probes the rich cultural legacies and deep cultural dimensions underlying discourse in the U.S. This culturally rich examination of discourse places the changing demographics of the United States in linguistic perspective and draws upon the author’s "language-centered perspective on culture" to illuminate the discourses associated with gender and with African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans. Language is placed in the context of the histories, multiplicities, and cultural themes influencing its users.

The final section of the book explores the implications of language diversity, first by showing how culturally nuanced language carries consequences in the justice and medical systems, in school, and at work; and then by examining two of the most heated language issues in the country today: ebonics and bilingual education. Johnson concludes by advocating bilingual education for all citizens, regardless of native language.

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