Sherry Simon, “Cities in Translation: Intersections of Language and Memory” (Routledge, 2012)
The idea that bilingualism can be enriching and beneficial for an individual is a popular one. But what about for a city? Here the associations are less positive, particularly if we automatically think of cities whose linguistic divisions echo the… Read More
Bart Geurts, “Quantity Implicatures” (Cambridge UP, 2011)
It’s now well over 100 years since John Stuart Mill noted that, if I say “I saw some of your children today”, you get the impression that I didn’t see all of them. This idea – that what we don’t… Read More
Sam Leith, “Words Like Loaded Pistols: Rhetoric from Aristotle to Obama” (Basic Books, 2012)
What’s the connection between Sarah Palin and Plato? The response that leaps to mind is that they’ve both never heard of one another. But another similarity is their scepticism about high-flown rhetoric as a tool used to pull the wool… Read More
Alexander Maxwell, “Choosing Slovakia: Slavic Hungary, the Czechoslovak Language, and Accidental Nationalism” (Tauris Academic Studies, 2009)
On 1 January 1993 Slovakia became an independent nation. According to conventional Slovak nationalist history that event was the culmination of a roughly thousand year struggle. Alexander Maxwell argues quite differently in his book Choosing Slovakia: Slavic Hungary, the Czechoslovak Read More
Alexander Clark and Shalom Lappin, “Linguistic Nativism and the Poverty of the Stimulus” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011)
In linguistics, if a book is ever described as a “must read for X”, it generally means that (i) it is trenchantly opposed to whatever X does and (ii) X will completely ignore it. Alexander Clark and Shalom Lappin,… Read More
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