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Introducing Sociolinguistics

Rajend Mesthrie, Joan Swann, Ana Deumert, William Leap

Edition: 2

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Sociolinguistics is one of the central branches of modern linguistics and deals with the place of language in human societies. This second edition of Introducing Sociolinguistics expertly synthesises the main approaches to the subject. The book covers areas such as multilingualism, code-choice, language variation, dialectology, interactional studies, gender, language contact, language and inequality, and language and power. At the same time it provides an integrated perspective on these themes by examining sociological theories of human interaction. In this regard power and inequality are particularly significant. The book also contains two chapters on the applications of sociolinguistics (in education and in language policy and planning) and a concluding chapter on the sociolinguistics of sign language. New topics covered include speaking style and stylisation, while current debates in areas like creolisation, globalisation and language death, language planning, and gender are reflected.

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1. Clearing the Ground: Basic Issues, Concepts and Approaches
2. Regional Dialectology
3. Social Dialectolog
4. Language Variation and Chang
5. Language Choice and Code-Switching
6. Language in Interactio
7. Gender and Language Use
8. Language Contact 1: Maintenance, Shift and Death
9. Language Contact 2: Pidgins, Creoles and 'New Englishes
10. Critical Sociolinguistics: Approaches to Language and Power
11. Sociolinguistics and Education
12. Language Planning and Policy
13. The Sociolinguistics of Sign Language
Further Reading
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About the Author

Rajend Mesthrie is Professor of Linguistics in the English Department at the University of Cape Town.

Joan Swann is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Language and Communication in the School of Education at the Open University, UK.

Ana Deumert is Associate Professor in the Linguistics Section, Department of English, University of Cape Town.

William Leap is Professor of Anthropology at the American University, Washington DC.