Read Language, the Social Mirror by Elaine Ostrach Chaika Free Online
Book Title: Language, the Social Mirror|
The author of the book: Elaine Ostrach Chaika
Edition: Heinle ELT
Date of issue: March 8th 1994
ISBN 13: 9780838447314
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 315 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.1
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Though this is a text written for the undergrad studying sociolinguistics, the informal and direct writing style makes it accessible to the average reader. A broad variety of topics are covered such as profanity, language vs. dialect, rapping, commands, propaganda, and more. There are plenty of examples, details, and information to keep you both entertained and engaged. The main focus is on language and society and how the two are interrelated. As Dr. Chaika says, "There is no human society that does not depend upon, is not shaped by, and does itself not shape language." It's fascinating to read how language impacts everyone the world over.
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Read information about the authorI was lucky enough to grow up in a mixed race neighborhood in Providence, RI, a city with an incredible variety of historic houses and buildings. Even today, I can walk down a street and notice a Victorian I hadn't seen before. And this is not the part of the city in the historical mile! In fact, when I was a child roaming the streets on my own, this was a slum. It is being gentrified, however.
Visually, the benefits of growing up in a city with incredibly diverse architecture is that, early on, I noticed such variety and honed my sense of the remarkable.
Added to these advantages was the immigrant culture of my home. There, neighbors and cousins could just walk in anytime. When they did, the discussions started, with each person ripping the others' arguments to shreds, but, when they left, there was kissing all around. From these almost daily encounters in my Bubby's (grandmother's) flat in the tenement house I grew up in, I learned how to analyze ideas--and every bit of information that came my way. I was literally raised to become a scholar, although, true to their old country ways, my elders were more interested in my training as a good housewife. Having a smart daughter was considered a bad thing. Only the boys were supposed to be smart.
The advantage of a mixed race neighborhood is that I learned to evaluate people according to who they were and not what.
I also developed a sense of beauty, and my imagination was fueled. I spent my childhood reading books from the public library, about a mile from my home. Summertimes, I walked there several times a week. I won the summer reading contest every year.
Without parents or other caregivers present during the day, I had to amuse myself. I did so by drawing illustrated stories, and playing imaginatively with the gang of kids, who, like me, had working parents and were on their own. I also read my parents' books, as well as publications in the homes of my colored friends, magazines like Ebony, the NAACP newsletter, and The Negro Digest
I graduated Classical HighSchool in 1952, went to Pembroke College, and hated it. In 1953, I eloped to Maine, marrying a wilderness guide. It was an incredible experience. However, once my oldest son was born in 1955, I had to return to civilization. I returned to college,got remarried, and earned my Master's in English and PhD in Linguistics at Brown.
I am Professor Emerita of Linguistics at Providence College. I've written many scholarly articles and books over the years, but, once I retired, I went back to my first love, dogs. My book "Humans, Dogs, and Civilization" is the culmination of that research.
I also have two blogs on www.elainechaika.com: The Language Lady & Dogs and Wolves.
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