What is ethnicity? Is there a 'white' way of speaking? Why do people sometimes borrow features of another ethnic group's language? Why do we sometimes hear an accent that isn't there? This lively overview, first published in 2006, reveals the fascinating relationship between language and ethnic identity, exploring the crucial role it plays in both revealing a speaker's ethnicity and helping to construct it. Drawing on research from a range of ethnic groups around the world, it shows how language contributes to the social and psychological processes involved in the formation of ethnic identity, exploring both the linguistic features of ethnic language varieties and also the ways in which language is used by different ethnic groups. Complete with discussion questions and a glossary, Language and Ethnicity will be welcomed by students and researchers in sociolinguistics, as well as anybody interested in ethnic issues, language and education, inter-ethnic communication, and the relationship between language and identity.
Carmen Fought is Associate Professor of Linguistics at Pitzer College, Claremont, California.
Part I. General Issues in Ethnicity and Language: 1. What is ethnicity?; 2. Language and the construction of ethnic identity; Part II. Linguistic Features and Ethnicity in Specific Groups: 3. African-American groups; 4. Latino groups; 5. Linguistic variation in other multiethnic settings; 6. Are white people ethnic? Whiteness, dominance, and ethnicity; 7. Dialect contact, ethnicity and language change; Part III. The Role of Language Use in Ethnicity: 8. Discourse features, pragmatics and ethnicity; 9. Interethnic communication and language prejudice; 10. Crossing: may I borrow your ethnicity?; Discussion questions; Glossary.