- $ 72.900,00
Though we speak English as a nation, it's no secret that America is far from uniform. Spanish, in particular, has long been touted as the language that will figure into our national future; much has been written about the need to recognize it in our laws and schools.
Yet billing America as a bilingual country is a gross misrepresentation. They speak Basque in Nevada, Hindi in San Jose, and Gullah in South Carolina. We speak European, Asian, and Native American languages, as well as hybrids like Creole and Spanglish. And Elizabeth Little's home--Queens, New York--is among the most ethnically, culturally, and linguistically diverse places on the planet.
Small surprise, then, that Little felt a yearning to find the cultural and linguistic soul of the country. And she has done it in the most American way imaginable: on a road trip.
This book is the result: a festive roadmap of the bounties of our country. We'll learn about the struggle of the French-speaking population of Maine to get along with the community around them; the traditional ways of the German-speaking Amish in Pennsylvania; and the rich history of the little-known African population of Nantucket. Elizabeth Little is a witty and endearing tourguide for this memorable and original trip.
As much a travelogue as a linguistic field log, Little (Biting the Wax Tadpole: Confessions of a Language Fanatic) regales readers with her two-year odyssey crisscrossing the United States exploring the relationship between language and the American experience. A self-professed linguaphile, Little examines language communities, such as the Gullah speakers of South Carolina, and their relationship to English, a tongue she admits she considered boring. Some of her most interesting, and sobering, stops are in reservation towns, where she discovers the steady decline of Native languages among the Crow and Navajo. Little also touches down in New Orleans and the surrounding towns to investigate the nature of Creole and the origins of "picayune." And she stops in Elko, Nev., home to a surprisingly vibrant Basque community. In the end, Little highlights the sad irony that America, whose history of immigration has given it a rich linguistic diversity, is also a place of "language loss," which she attributes to discrimination rather than, in at least some cases, a genuine desire to assimilate. Still, this is fascinating for the linguistically inclined and for those interested in how our history is reflected in the words we speak.