Semantic Variation: Meaning in Society and in Sociolinguistics - The Collected Works of Ruqaiya Hasan Vol 2 - Ruqaiya Hasan†

Semantic Variation: Meaning in Society and in Sociolinguistics - The Collected Works of Ruqaiya Hasan Vol 2 - Ruqaiya Hasan†

Author's preface

Semantic Variation: Meaning in Society and in Sociolinguistics - The Collected Works of Ruqaiya Hasan Vol 2 - Ruqaiya Hasan†

Ruqaiya Hasan† [+-]
Macquarie University
Ruqaiya Hasan, who died in 2015, was a professor of linguistics who taught and held visiting positions at various universities in England. Her last appointment was at Macquarie University, Australia, from where she retired as Emeritus Professor in 1994. Throughout her career she researched and published widely in the areas of verbal art, culture, context and text, text and texture, lexicogrammar and semantic variation. Read her obituary here

Description

The sociolinguistic turn of the 60's has been remarkably successful: variability of language is no longer an issue open to debate. But studies of variation have by and large been restricted to the level of expression. This volume offers a critique of present day sociolinguistics, arguing that since meaning is critical to all contexts of life in society, ignoring it has led to a number of serious problems, foremost among them a mis-conception of the nature of sociolinguistics itself. By examining the possibility of systematic variation at the level of meaning, the volume makes a positive contribution to opening up a debate about the possibility of the neglected/ misrepresented notion of semantic variation. Most chapters of the volume present an account of certain aspects of an empirical research which strongly supports the view that systematic variation in the choice of semantic features occurs across different social groups. Mothers and their young children less than four years old showed in their naturally occurring conversation a highly systematic, statistically significant, orientation to distinct styles of meaning, which correlated with their social positioning, and/or with the gender of the children. The comparison of kindergarten teachers' ways of meaning with those of mothers' provides empirical proof that teacher talk is an exaggerated version of middle class mothers' talk. The volume is relevant on the one hand to theoretical issues in linguistics and sociolinguistics and on the other, to any serious discourse about equitable education. This volume is accompanied by a CD-ROM containing  A Brief Summary of the Research on Semantic Variation  Conventions for Dialogue Transcription in the Included Sample  Sample of Mother-child Dialogues  Sample of Analysis  Identifying Patterns in Linguistic Behaviour by Carmel Cloran  Semantic Networks: the Description of Linguistic Meaning in SFL by Ruqaiya Hasan, Carmel Cloran, Geoffrey Williams, and Annabelle Lukin (2007)

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Citation

Hasan†, Ruqaiya . Author's preface. Semantic Variation: Meaning in Society and in Sociolinguistics - The Collected Works of Ruqaiya Hasan Vol 2. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. xi-xiii Jul 2009. ISBN 9781904768364. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30226. Date accessed: 14 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30226. Jul 2009

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