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Focusing on urban youth culture and language crossing, this foundational volume by Ben Rampton has played a pivotal role in the shaping of language and ethnic identity as a domain of study. It focuses on language crossing - the use of Panjabi by adolescents of African-Caribbean and Anglo descent, the use of Creole by adolescents with Panjabi and Anglo backgrounds, and the use of stylized Indian English. Crossing’s central question is: how far and in what ways do these intricate processes of language sharing and exchange help to overcome race stratification and contribute to a new sense of mixed youth, class and neighbourhood community?
Ben Rampton produces detailed ethnographic and interactional analyses of spontaneous speech data, and integrates the discussion of particular incidents with theories of discourse, code-switching, social movements, resistance and ritual drawn from sociolinguistics, sociology, anthropology and cultural studies.
Now a Routledge Linguistics Classic and with a new preface which sets the work in its current context, this book remains key reading for all those working in the areas of applied linguistics and sociolinguistics.
Praise for Crossing, First Edition
"Published in 1995, Ben Rampton’s book Crossing put the sociolinguistic study of style, and of interethnic styling in particular, on a new footing. His work shares many assumptions and priorities with the studies I have been reviewing in this chapte and it has been an important stimulus to many of them. […] The distinctiveness of Rampton’s work lies in its ethnographic depth, theoretical openness and empirical specificity" (N. Coupland, 2007, Review, Style 136-7)
"Ben Rampton has produced a very important study, not only on language and ethnicity among adolescents… but on a range of sociolinguistic topics" (J. Blommaert, 1998, Review, Journal of Sociolinguistics 2/1: 119)
"This is another wonderful contribution from Longman’s Real Language series, a research monograph which manages to be empirically thorough, methodologically rigorous, and of practical and theoretical interest" (M. Heller, 1997, Review, International Journal of Bilingualism 1/1: 71)
"The importance of this book for sociolinguistics cannot be overestimated" (C. Kramsch, 1998, Review, Language and Education 12/1: 74)
Transcription Symbols and Conventions
Preface to the Routledge Linguistics Classics Edition
Part I: Introductory
Local Reports of Language Crossing
Part II: Interaction with Adults: Contesting Stratification
Stylised Asian English (i)
Part III: Interaction with Peers: Negotiating Solidarity
Stylised Asian English (ii)
Part IV: Crossing and Performance Art
Creole and SAE (iii)
Part V: Conclusions
Crossing and the Sociolinguistics of Language Contact
Crossing, Discourse and Ideology
Educational Discourses on Language
Numbered extracts, settings and main participants
Routledge Linguistics Classics brings together key seminal books from the rich heritage of Routledge linguistics publishing. Each book is reissued with the original text, and also includes an additional new chapter, foreword or afterword to situate these titles in current scholarship. These titles have been deemed classics by leading academics and are essential reading for students and all who need to keep up to date with the field of linguistics.