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Languaging in and across Communities: New Voices, New Identities

Studies in Honour of Giuseppina Cortese

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Edited By Sandra Campagna, Elana Ochse, Virginia Pulcini and Martin Solly

The title of this volume intentionally echoes that of a landmark issue of Textus on «Languaging» in and across Human Groups, edited by Giuseppina Cortese and Dell Hymes in 2001, since the notion of ‘languaging’ seems to capture most effectively the essence and the continuity in the life and work of Giuseppina Cortese, to whom the book is dedicated. It brings together contributions by a number of distinguished scholars that shed new light on current developments in this dynamic area of discourse analysis, especially taking into account recent research and emerging insights on speech communities and communities of practice.
The sections in the volume are designed as main threads of a new investigation into ‘languaging’. The first, entitled Languaging Awareness, deals with recent findings in applied linguistics, exploring key topics in language acquisition, language learning and teaching and the changing role of the media. The second section, Languaging Identity, prioritizes the theme of the construction of identity in text and talk within a linguistic and languaging framework. The third section, Languaging Community, explores the notion of community, of the lifeworld and the textworld emanating from a variety of domains, closely inspecting contemporary events and showing, on a continuum with Cortese’s approach, how memory of the past gives depth of meaning to a discourse analysis that is geared to linguistic and textual awareness.
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Discovering the Environment. The Indebtedness of Present-day Ecological Culture to Late Modern English Vocabulary

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1.   Introduction

This contribution centres on the indebtedness of current vocabulary to Late Modern times and the extraordinary impact that the discoveries of the nineteenth century had on science, education and society. According to the statistics in the website of the Oxford English Dictionary (henceforth OED), more new lexical items and meanings were recorded for the first time in the nineteenth century than at any other point in the history of English (Dossena 2012: 888–889). A certain number of these lexical items were borrowed from Asian, African, Austronesian and Native American languages, and were frequently imported as loanwords, while French and Latin continued to influence word formation in ways that had been very productive for centuries. On account of new discoveries, usage also changed, adding new semantic value to items that had long been available. In the current analysis I intend to focus on early instances of lexical items pertaining to the study and preservation of the environment, starting from an investigation of OED sources and paying special attention to the role played by leading figures in this field.

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