Linguistic Planets of Belief presents a way for people to notice, examine, and question the role language plays in identifying, recognizing, and understanding those around them. This book introduces the metaphor of ‘planets of belief’ as a framework for understanding both the connections of language and identity, and the reasons we hold these perceptions so dear. It explains why we make up our minds about who people are and what they are like, even if they have only spoken a few words to us, as well as how language can dictate what we think of others as a whole. In doing so, it:
- Takes a large survey of linguistic research in the field of perceptual dialectology and assesses hundreds of accounts of people and their speech from hundreds of respondents.
- Uses maps at the state, regional, and national level in the US to expose how our linguistic perceptions of geographical regions cluster into planets of belief.
- Challenges readers to critically assess these assumptions and empowers readers to shift the way they think about language and to understand why they stereotype others based on speech.
Equipped with such a large data set, Linguistic Planets of Belief explains the patterns that labels from perceptual maps show us and will make you consciously aware of the interaction between language use, perceptions, and stereotypes. It is essential interdisciplinary reading for students of English language, linguistics, and sociolinguistics, and will also be of interest to anyone concerned with the ways that language, ideology, and discrimination intersect.
Chapter 1: Concepts of Beliefs.
Chapter 2: Perceptual Dialectology and the Power of Labeling
Chapter 3: Exploring Planet USA
Chapter 4: Southern Planets: Hicks, Hillbillies, and Rednecks?
Chapter 5: Local planets: The View from Home
Chapter 6: Conclusions
This book provides an excellent overview of the field of what is commonly known as ‘perceptual linguistics’ or ‘folk linguistics’, bringing together theoretical issues from different related fields as well as covering all relevant empirical and methodological aspects.
Philipp Stöckle, Austrian Academy of Sciences
This book not only summarizes previous work on the field but also makes an important contribution by commenting upon US perceptions of the American South in a well-grounded expository manner, to raise awareness and promote the acceptability of different manners of speaking.
Clara Cantos Delgado, Department of English Studies, Complutense University of Madrid