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Language Myths and the History of English (Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics)

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  • ISBN-13: 9780195327618
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Release Date: Feb 09, 2011
  • Edition: 1
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 1.00 x 6.10 x 9.20 inches


Language Myths and the History of English aims to deconstruct the myths that are traditionally reproduced as factual accounts of the historical development of English. Using concepts and interpretive sensibilities developed in the field of sociolinguistics over the past 40 years, Richard J. Watts unearths these myths and exposes their ideological roots. His goal is not to construct an alternative discourse, but to offer alternative readings of the historical data. Watts raises the question of what we mean by a linguistic ideology, and whether any discourse--a hegemonic discourse, an alternative discourse, or even a deconstructive discourse--can ever be free of it. The book argues that a naturalized discourse is always built on a foundation of myths, which are all too easily taken as true accounts.

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