Andrew J. Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart (Strathern) publish new book on Language with Bloomsbury Academic Press. Language and Culture in Dialogue (2019)

Andrew J. Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart (Strathern) and Andrew Strathern publish new book with Bloomsbury Academic Press, Language and Culture in Dialogue (2019) [available in print and as e-book].

About Language and Culture in Dialogue

In this book, Andrew J. Strathern and Pamela J. Stewart delineate the relationship between “language in particular” and “culture in general” by focusing on language as both social practice and a means of classifying and interpreting the world. A traditional linguistic approach to a focus on language is illuminated by their anthropological emphasis on the embodiment of relationships and experience. In the book, the body is placed in the foreground for understanding language in culture, which helps in turn to understand how it enables us to adapt to the world of lived material experience.

Written in an accessible style and drawing on an extensive corpus of primary field research from Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Japan, Taiwan, Scotland, and Ireland, Strathern and Stewart present a world anthropology which links together European, North American, and Asia-Pacific approaches to the topic. Students and scholars alike of sociocultual anthropology, linguistic anthropology, and linguistics will benefit from this engaging work on how the various components of our culture are informed and shaped through language.

Table of contents

About the Authors

1. Language as Cultural Practice
2. Origins
3. Language, Practice, and Embodiment
4. Themes in Language Practice
5. Cognition and Categories: The Work of Roy Ellen
6. Cognition and Categories: The Work of Anna Wierzbicka
7. Cognitive Science and Language
8. Language and Ritual: The Merina and the Melpa
9. Language and Ritual: Maring and Melpa
10. Language and Power
11. Language, Literacy, and Change: Scots and Tok Pisin
12. Excursions, Translations, and Explorations


“Grounded in multitemporal ethnographic research from the Highlands of Papua New Guinea to the Highlands of Scotland and points in between, the authors explore classical and contemporary thinking pertaining to human language and culture. They present the complexities of past debates, current theories and emerging ideas about human language and culture in concise, jargon free exposition that challenges, informs and enlightens. A brilliant contribution demonstrating the best in academic scholarship. Highly recommended.” –  Naomi M. McPherson, University of British Columbia, Canada

“I recommend this book to anyone interested in the relation of language to thought, in other words, to just about everyone! The text offers a fresh and fascinating glimpse into language, in all its complexity. Language is too important to be left just to linguists.” –  Alan Barnard, University of Edinburgh, UK