Ethnosyntax: Explorations in Grammar and Culture

Paperback | February 26, 2004

byN. J. Enfield

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This book provides a fresh and original approach to the 'ethnosyntax' concept - the proposition that the grammar of a language is intimately linked to the culture of its speakers. It focuses on three related questions: how far culture accounts for linguistic variation; how culture and grammarare connected; and to what extent one may constitute the other. It looks, for example, at the ways in which grammatical (including semantic) resources may be constrained by social values, and at the possible sociocultural significance of grammatical devices. The chapters add up to an important and timely contribution to the renewed debate among linguists and anthropologists on the relationship between grammar, culture, and cognition. The authors represent a wide range of research traditions, some of which have not until now explicitly addressed thegrammar and culture issue. They consider the subject in the context of a wide range of cultures in North America, Europe, and Australasia. The clarity and accessibility of their writing, together with Dr Enfield's introduction to the field, make this not only a work of original value and impeccablescholarship, but an excellent modern textbook on a subject of enduring fascination in linguistics and anthropology.

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This book provides a fresh and original approach to the 'ethnosyntax' concept - the proposition that the grammar of a language is intimately linked to the culture of its speakers. It focuses on three related questions: how far culture accounts for linguistic variation; how culture and grammarare connected; and to what extent one may co...

N. J. Enfield is a staff member in the Language and Cognition Group at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen. His work in semantic and grammatical description, contact and areal linguistics, gesture, and linguistic anthropology is based upon ongoing fieldwork in mainland Southeast Asia.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:338 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.72 inPublished:February 26, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199266506

ISBN - 13:9780199266500

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Table of Contents

Part I: Ethnosyntax: Theory and Scope1. N. J. Enfield: Ethnosyntax: Introduction2. Anthony V. N. Diller and Wilaiwan Khanittanan: Syntactic Enquiry as a Cultural Activity3. Cliff Goddard: Ethnosyntax, Ethnopragmatics, Sign-Functions, and Culture4. John Newman: Culture, Cognition, and the Grammar of 'Give' ClausesPart II: Culture, Semantics, and Grammar5. Wallace Chafe: Masculine and Feminine in the Northern Iroquoian Languages6. Andrew Pawley: Using He and She for Inanimate Referents in English: Questions of Grammar and World View7. Ronald W. Langacker: A Study in Unified Diversity: English and Mixtec Locatives8. Anna Wierzbicka: Enlgish Causative Constructions in an Ethnosyntactic Perspective: Focusing on 'LET'Part III: Culture, Pragmatics, and Grammaticalisation9. Kate Burridge: Changes within Pennsylvania German Grammar as Enactments of Anabaptist World View10. N. J. Enfield: Cultural Logic and Syntactic Productivity: Associated Posture Constructions in Lao11. Alan Rumsey: Aspects of Ku Waru Ethnosyntax and Social Life12. Jane Simpson: From Common Ground to Syntactic Construction: Associated Path in Warlpiri

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition This is a collection of very readable and very interesting papers...a significant and important contribution to the exploration of ethnosyntax.'LinguistList May 22 2003