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Language, Borders and Identity

Edited by Dominic Watt, Carmen Llamas

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A wide-ranging and multi-disciplinary discussion of the connections between language, borders and identities

Identifying and examining political, socio-psychological and symbolic borders, Language, Borders and Identity encompasses a broad, geographically diverse spectrum of border contexts, taking a multi-disciplinary approach by combining sociolinguistics research with human geography, anthropology and social psychology. The book illustrates a representative range of methodological approaches used by researchers in the field and examines regional and local borders alongside the political borders that divide monoglossic and heteroglossic territories.

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Introduction, Dominic Watt and Carmen Llamas
1. Language and Identity on the Scottish/English border, Dominic Watt, Carmen Llamas, Gerry Docherty, Damien Hall and Jennifer Nycz
2. Where North meets South?: Contact, divergence, and the routinisation of the Fenland dialect boundary, David Britain
3. Borders in North American English, Charles Boberg
4. Spanish language variation and ethnic identity in New Mexico: internal and external borders, Neddy A. Vigil and Garland D. Bills
5. Language use and attitudes as stimuli for phonological change in border Uruguayan Spanish, Mark Waltermire
6. Religion on the border: The effect of Utah English on English and Spanish use in the Mexican Mormon colonies, Wendy Baker-Smemoe and Breana Jones
7. Borders within borders: Contexts of language use and local identity configuration in southern Galicia, Jaine Beswick
8. Perceptual ideology across the Scottish/English border, Chris Montgomery
9. Wales and Welsh: Boundedness and peripherality, Nikolas Coupland
10. The political border and linguistic identities in Ireland: What can the linguistic landscape tell us?, Jeffrey L. Kallen
11. Multilingual Luxembourg: Language and identity at the Romance/Germanic language border, Daniel Redinger and Carmen Llamas
12. What counts as a linguistic border, for whom, and with what implications? Exploring Occitan and Francoprovençal in Rhône-Alpes, France, Michel Bert and James Costa
13. Constructing national and international deaf identity: Perceived use of American Sign Language, Elizabeth S. Parks
14. Borders, variation and identity: Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin (LADO), Kim Wilson and Paul Foulkes

About the Author

Dominic Watt lectures in Forensic Speech Science at the University of York, UK

Carmen Llamas lectures in sociolinguistics at the University of York. She is co-editor (with Dominic Watt) of Language and Identities (2010) and (with Peter Stockwell and Louise Mullany) of The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics (2007). Her research deals primarily with phonological variation and change in the North East and the Scottish-English border region.


A valuable contribution to the ongoing debate on identity, power, and language in borderlands.

- Andrea E. Lypka, University of South Florida, Linguist List

The extremely diverse range of studies makes it clear that, despite the uniqueness of each border, there are parallels and patterns… the editors leave it to the reader to carry out his or her own synthesis of a rich and suggestive empirical base.

- Sarah Foxen, University of Exeter, Journal of Sociolinguistics

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