Edited by W. Martin Bloomer
“The Contest of Language is an ambitious and appealing collection that should attract a variety of humanists and linguists interested in the relationship between politics, language use, literature, and power. Its wide range makes it a ‘must-have’ for the humanities and social sciences sections in every college and university library.” —Joy Connolly, Stanford University
These essays, written by eminent scholars from diverse disciplines and perspectives, consider various present-day and historical efforts to make a language dominant through textual, institutional, academic, and literary means. Contributors examine pressures to elevate one language at the expense of another and the cultural and intellectual consequences of that elevation. Specific essays apply this theme of the contest of language to the suppression, survival, and revival of the Irish language; to Greek, Latin, and the emergence of the vernacular in Europe; to the relationship between minority and dominant language in China; and to the lack of linguistic imperialism in the spread of Arabic, among other fascinating topics.
Students and scholars interested in language as a cultural and political phenomenon will find this book invaluable.
Contributors: Theodore J. Cachey Jr., Joseph P. Amar, Peter McQuillan, Dimitri Gutas, Haun Saussy, Susan D. Blum, Tony Crowley, Richard Hunter, W. Martin Bloomer, Seamus Deane, and Vittorio Hösle.
“A collection which . . . should appeal to scholars of various disciplines, from literary to social studies, from linguistics to anthropology and philosophy. . . . [A] concentrated effort which results in a collection of highly interesting and very inspiring essays. . . . Bloomer’s book is a contribution of eminent value to the debate about the role of language in relation to politics and power and provides a most useful access to this complex field of study. Its wide range both of methods and of topics allows readers to get an overview, first of all, of the different methodological questions that are and must be involved in exploring the social functions of language. . . . I am convinced that anyone interested in the interaction of society and language will gain substantial profit from it.” — Bryn Mawr Classical Review
“_The Contest of Language_ is highly recommended to all students of Linguistic Studies as well as the general reader who has interest in the cultural and political implications of language.” — The Midwest Book Review