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Language, Society and Consciousness: Vol. 1

Language, Society and Consciousness: Vol. 1 (Hardback)

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The chapters of this volume explore the intimate relations of society, language and mind: the development of each of these depends on the contribution of the other two. In this sense they are co-genetic: mind has recently been described by the famous neuro-scientist, Susan Greenfield, as 'personalized brain.' The development of human mind depends on what it experiences; for human beings, experience goes beyond sensation: it is made of meaning, and interpretation/meaning, in turn, is construed by the various semiotic modalities, of which language is perhaps the most flexible and most pervasive. But language has itself evolved in the course of attempts to reach an 'other.' By shaping the nature of communication, human relations shape also the nature of language; meanings exchanged in verbal interaction become a major force in shaping forms of consciousness; and our consciousness reveals itself in our cultural practices, our ways of being, doing and saying.

Ruqaiya Hasan has taught and held visiting positions at various universities in England, America and Australia. Her last appointment was at Macquarie University, Australia, from where she retired as Emeritus Professor in 1994. Throughout her career she has researched and published widely in the areas of stylistics, culture, context and text, lexicogrammar and semantic variation. The latter involved the devising of extensive semantic system networks for the analysis of meaning in naturally occurring dialogues. Jonathan Webster is currently Acting Head, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics, and Associate Dean (Research and Administration), Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the City University of Hong Kong. In addition to being General Editor of the new journal from Equinox called Linguistics and the Human Sciences (coming in April 2005), he is the Series Editor for the ten volume Collected Works of Professor M.A.K. Halliday (Continuum Books); and also the seven volume Collected Works for Professor Ruqaiya Hasan published by Equinox.

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