Chicano-Anglo Conversations: Truth, Honesty, and Politeness, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Chicano-Anglo Conversations

Truth, Honesty, and Politeness, 1st Edition

By Madeleine Youmans


208 pages

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This groundbreaking book--about differences in communication practices between Mexican-American underclass residents in an East Los Angeles housing project and white, middle-class literacy tutors who worked with them--makes an important contribution to research on the sociolinguistics of the Chicano gang culture.

More specifically, this work adds substantially to research on understanding linguistic politeness theories, the use of epistemic modals for negative politeness, and evidentiality. It refines, and in a number of cases, defines, function categories for epistemic modals through a rigorous grammatical analysis. This book is also distinctive in that the author subjects the language of middle-class Anglos to the same type of scrutiny that is often reserved for non-mainstream groups.

Youmans contends that the differences between the Chicano and Anglo speakers are the result of the two groups’ different sociocultural circumstances, including historical and current living and working patterns and the relative value placed on familialism and communalism versus individualism and independence. (The terms Chicano and Anglo are used as a kind of shorthand in this book--not to raise larger sociocultural issues implied by these terms.) Although the number of participants in the study limits the applicability of the findings as they might be extrapolated to all Chicanos/as, or all Anglos when reporting sociolinguistic observations, the main argument advanced is that language use may provide insights into beliefs, attitudes, and practices in the larger society.

This volume is directed to researchers and graduate students in the areas of sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, discourse analysis, and cross-cultural communication, and will also interest language and linguistics educators and grammarians.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface. Introduction. The Community and Participants. The Social Power of Language. Conducting the Research. Conversational Data Part I: Evidential Uses of Epistemic Modals. Conversational Data Part II: Modality and Manipulation. Work, Family, Friends, and the Gang: How They Interact to Influence Talk. Results for the Future. Appendices.

About the Series

ESL & Applied Linguistics Professional Series

This series provides essential texts on teaching English as a second language and applied linguistics. It includes authored and edited volumes to be used as primary or supplementary texts in graduate-level and teacher training courses to enhance students’ and practicing teachers’ professional qualifications and knowledge. Each text is designed to promote the current and growing body of knowledge in applied linguistics and second language teaching, including advances in teacher education and the study of language.

Specifically, the series includes, but is not limited to, current uses of applied linguistics research in teaching a variety of second language skills, such as reading, writing, speaking and listening; materials and curriculum design; literacy; English for academic purposes; and research methods.

The texts also deal with broad domains of professional preparation related to socio-cultural perspectives and current issues/topics in teaching and learning a second language.

Books in the series benefit not only students, but experienced teachers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers, program administrators, and other second and foreign language professionals seeking to advance and update their knowledge and expertise.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General