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European Vernacular Literacy A Sociolinguistic and Historical Introduction Author: Joshua A Fishman

Paperback - 104 pages
28 Jun 2010
Multilingual Matters
210 x 148 (A5)


In this major new text, Joshua Fishman charts the rise of vernacular literacy in Europe, and the major social and economic changes that attended it. Following the story up until the present day, the book looks at how European colonizers viewed vernacular literacy efforts in their current and former colonies, and how technology affects vernacular literacy both now and in the future.


Filled with both enormous erudition and plain commonsense, this book makes a ground-breaking contribution to our understandings of the development and importance of vernacular literacy. But beyond the innovative topic of the book, Joshua A. Fishman expands here on an original historical-macrosociolinguistic theoretical approach of 'predicting the past' that, as he says for literacy, 'vivifies the dead and freezes the lively.'
Ofelia García, Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA

Here we are treated to a reflective exploration by a grand master of sociolinguistics on a topic of both historic and contemporary importance. In inimitable style, Fishman draws on his encyclopedic knowledge of European language history to bring to life both social factors and social actors involved in the spread of vernacular literacies.
Nancy H. Hornberger, University of Pennsylvania, USA

This book will be interesting to anyone interested in European history, literacy, and language development.
Ken Decker, SIL International

Author Biography:

Joshua A. Fishman is retired Emeritus Distinguished University Research Professor (Yeshiva University and Stanford University) and a frequent award recipient, lecturer, and publisher. He is also the co-founder of the field of sociolinguistics and founding editor of The International Journal of the Sociology of Language.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Text

Table of Contents

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