Making Sense of Language: A Review of Blum's Book
Language is a fascinating and complex phenomenon that shapes our culture and communication. But how do we make sense of language? How do we understand its origins, functions, diversity, and effects? How do we use language to express ourselves, connect with others, and create meaning?
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These are some of the questions that Susan D. Blum explores in her book Making Sense of Language: Readings in Culture and Communication. This book is a collection of readings from various disciplines and perspectives that examine language in its social and cultural contexts. The book is divided into six parts: the nature of language, language and society, language and identity, language and interaction, language and power, and language change.
The book is intended for undergraduate students who are interested in learning about language and culture. It provides an introduction to the field of linguistic anthropology, as well as other related fields such as sociolinguistics, pragmatics, discourse analysis, and semiotics. The book also encourages critical thinking and reflection on how language affects our lives and how we can use it responsibly and creatively.
The book is rich in examples and case studies from different languages and cultures around the world. It covers topics such as language origins, multilingualism, dialects, gender, politeness, humor, metaphors, gestures, writing systems, media, literacy, translation, and more. The book also includes chapter introductions, discussion questions, glossary terms, and suggestions for further reading.
Making Sense of Language is a comprehensive and engaging book that offers a wide range of perspectives on language and its role in human society. It is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about the diversity and complexity of language and how it shapes our culture and communication.
In Part I, Blum introduces the nature of language and its various aspects. She discusses the definition of language, its origin and evolution, its relation to thought and cognition, its role in socialization and learning, and its interaction with new media and technologies. She also presents some of the key concepts and theories in linguistics and anthropology that help us analyze language as a system of signs and symbols.
In Part II, Blum examines language and society and how they influence each other. She explores the phenomenon of multilingualism and its effects on individuals and communities. She also looks at how language varies according to different social factors such as region, class, ethnicity, age, and gender. She shows how language reflects and constructs social identities and relationships.
In Part III, Blum focuses on language and identity and how they are negotiated and performed through linguistic practices. She investigates how language expresses personal and group identities such as nationality, race, religion, sexuality, and style. She also analyzes how language is used to create and resist stereotypes and ideologies. She illustrates how language is a tool for empowerment and agency. 29c81ba772