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Language and Interaction

Discussions with John J. Gumperz

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Abstract

This book features a fascinating and extended focal interview with Professor John J. Gumperz, who ranges over his long career trajectory and reflects on his scientific achievements and how they relate to the contemporary linguistic scene. In this way, the reader is presented with a snapshot introduction to Gumperz's work in a contemporary context.<br />A number of commentaries provide a stimulating and illuminating series of theoretical and applied encounters with Gumperz's work from different perspectives. In so doing, they shed new light on Gumperz's seminal contribution to the study of language and interaction. In his <i>Response Essay</i> and in a final discussion, Gumperz clarifies his views on many of the topics discussed in the volume, as well as sharing with readers his views on some other approaches to language and interaction that are closely aligned to his own.<br />Sociolinguistics, the ethnographic approach to language, language and social interaction, intercultural communication, communicative conventions, contextualization – these are some of the key terms which Professor John J. Gumperz discusses in this wide ranging and searching interview about his career as an anthropological linguist and sociolinguist interested in cultural diversity and intercultural communication.<br /> <i>John J. Gumperz</i>, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, is one of the founders of Sociolinguistics whose early work on speech communities and on the relationship of linguistic to social boundaries helped lay the basis for much current work in the field. Since the 1970s he has concentrated on a theory and methods of discourse analysis that can account for the intrinsic diversity of today’s communicative environments.<br />His publications include: <i>Language in Social Groups</i> (1962); <i>Ethnography of</i> <i>Communication</i> (1964) and <i>Directions in Sociolinguistics</i> (1972/2002), both coedited with Dell Hymes; <i>Discourse Strategies</i> (1982); <i>Language and Social Identity</i> (1982); and <i>Rethinking Linguistic Relativity</i> (1996), coedited with Steven Levinson. He is currently working on a collection of studies <i>New Ethnographies of Communication </i>(coedited with Marco Jacquemet); and <i>Language in Social Theory.</i>

Subjects: Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; Pragmatics; Communication Studies; Theoretical linguistics; Discourse studies

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