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Subject: Language and Linguistics

Protomusic: The role of Prosodic Modulation in the Emergence of Language

Alessandra Anastasi, University of Messina, Italy

ISBN: 978-1-64889-152-6
Availability: Available 4 weeks
186pp. ¦ $62 £50 €54

Anastasi introduces an alternative vision about language development and music involvement to the current scientific discourse. Her view is based on a rigorous evolutionary perspective, through which she not only demonstrates the hypothesis of vocal continuity with other species via morphological data but, more importantly, also demonstrates how music is first and foremost a biological and cognitive trait. The bond between animal and human communication is here interpreted as an interspecific universal with a clear evolutionary impact on the speech’s natural history. Such continuity does not undermine the species-specificity of our linguistic system and, at the same time, supports the theory according to which music had a clear evolutionary role in the inception of the prosodic and musical components of speech. In leaning towards a bio-naturalistic approach, the most convincing view is that of a vocal and functional continuity of music. This appears to be demonstrable through the evolutionary past of vocality in other animal species, not constrained from having some form of cultural transmission. The book evidences that the current research scenario on non-human animal communication benefits from the support of semiotics and, specifically, zoosemiotics. The latter approach enables us to interpret music and chant not only as a simple formal and meaningless exercise, but rather as a communicative element perceived and processed by organisms equipped with cognitive abilities. Anastasi argues that vocal continuity, made possible by biological constraints that mark its anatomical and physiological aspects, places human beings in a relationship of semiotic continuity with non-human communication forms. In turn, this enables us to better describe the phylogenetic processes which determined the development of musical behaviours in the Sapiens, as well as the way in which such behaviours interwove with the expressive vocality of the animal world.

The Enlightened Mind: Education in the Long Eighteenth Century

Edited by Amanda Strasik, Eastern Kentucky University

September 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-514-2
Availability: In stock
164pp. ¦ $68 £57 €64

The rise of Enlightenment philosophical and scientific thought during the long eighteenth century in Europe and North America (c. 1688-1815) sparked artistic and political revolutions, reframed social, gender, and race relations, reshaped attitudes toward children and animals, and reconceptualized womanhood, marriage, and family life. The meaning of “education” at this time was wide-ranging and access to it was divided along lines of gender, class, and race. Learning happened in diverse environments under the tutelage of various teachers, ranging from bourgeois mothers at home, to Spanish clergy, to nature itself. The contributors to this cross-disciplinary volume weave together methods in art history, gender studies, and literary analysis to reexamine “education” in different contexts during the Enlightenment era. They explore the implications of redesigned curricula, educational categorizations and spaces, pedagogical aids and games, the role of religion, and new prospects for visual artists, parents, children, and society at large. Collectively, the authors demonstrate how new learning opportunities transformed familial structures and the socio-political conditions of urban centers in France, Britain, the United States, and Spain. Expanded approaches to education also established new artistic practices and redefined women’s roles in the arts. This volume offers groundbreaking perspectives on education that will appeal to beginning and seasoned humanities scholars alike.

Issues in Kartvelian Studies

Edited by Tamar Makharoblidze, Ilia State University, Georgia

September 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-475-6
Availability: In stock
299pp. ¦ $79 £65 €74

Georgia is a part of the Caucasus region, located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its approximate population is about 3.716 million. Georgia is a motherland of Iberian or Kartvelian languages: Georgian, Svan, Megrelian and Laz, a language family native to the South Caucasus. This diverse collection is devoted to a wide range of linguistic works, such as descriptive studies of the Kartvelian languages and Georgian sign language, along with some theoretical contributions, dialectology, lexicography, psycholinguistics and computational linguistics, as well as history, ethnography, religion and educational issues. These articles are not only the best studies of Kartvelology but also clearly show its contribution to world science.

Transculturación y trans-identidades en la literatura contemporánea mexicana

Edited by Herlinda Flores Badillo, Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico

September 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-146-5
Availability: In stock
305pp. ¦ $85 £66 €73

La historia y cultura de México han sido transculturadas desde la época prehispánica. La mezcla surgida a partir de la llegada de los españoles dio lugar a un proceso de transculturación y al surgimiento de nuevas identidades, que se trasladaron a la literatura de esta época, dando cuenta de la transición vivida. La literatura se presenta en México como un producto heterogéneo y diverso, fruto del proceso de transculturación, no sólo en su literatura canónica, sino también en aquella de los otros Méxicos, o del México Profundo. “Transculturacion y trans-identidades en la literatura contemporánea mexicana” explora el juego de identidades en las obras de Pablo Soler Frost, Álvaro Enrigue o Fernanda Melchor, entre otros. Una colección de ensayos que abrirá un diálogo entre investigadores y académicos cuya área de estudio esté relacionada con la intersección de culturas, literaturas y escritores, así como un volumen de gran interés a todo público interesado en la literatura mexicana, los fenómenos de transculturación, migración, translacionalismo y políticas identitarias. Mexican history and culture have been transculturated since the pre-Hispanic era. The mixture that developed from the Spaniards arrival promoted the increase of transculturation and the development of new identities. Examples that can easily be spotted in Mexican contemporary literature, showing that due to this phenomena, Mexican literature is heterogeneous and diverse, not only in its canonic literature, but in that from the other Mexicos, or “deep Mexico”. “Transculturation and trans-identities in contemporary Mexican Literature” explores identities in the works of Pablo Soler Frost, Álvaro Enrigue or Fernanda Melchor, to only cite a few. A book that will open a dialogue among researchers, academics and students whose area of study is related to the intersection of culture, identities, spaces, literature and writers. An ambitious collection of essays, of great interest regarding Mexican culture, but also “border culture”, migration, transcultural issues and identity politics.

Novels, Rhetoric, and Criticism: A Brief History of Belles Lettres and British Literary Culture, 1680 – 1900

Jack M. Downs, Washington State University Health Sciences Spokane

July 2022 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-476-3
Availability: In stock
158pp. ¦ $53 £42 €50

Developing a history of the English novel requires the inclusion of a vast range of cultural, economic, religious, social, and aesthetic influences. But the role of eighteenth-century English rhetorical theory in the emergence of the novel – and the critical discourse surrounding that emergence – has often been neglected or overlooked. The influence of rhetorical theory in the development of the English novel is undeniable, however, and changes to rhetorical theory in Britain during the eighteenth century led to the development of a critical aesthetic discourse about the novel in Victorian England. This study argues that eighteenth-century 'belles lettres' rhetorical theory played a key role in developing a horizon of expectation concerning the nature and purpose of the novel that extended well into the nineteenth century. There is a connection between the emergence of the English novel, eighteenth-century rhetorical theory, and Victorian novel criticism that has been neglected; this study attempts to recover and articulate that connection.