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Investigations in Sociohistorical Linguistics
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Book description

In the last five hundred years or so, the English language has undergone remarkable geographical expansion, bringing it into contact with other languages in new locations. It also caused different regional dialects of the language to come into contact with each other in colonial situations. This book is made up of a number of fascinating tales of historical-sociolinguistic detection. These are stories of origins - of a particular variety of English or linguistic feature - which together tell a compelling general story. In each case, Trudgill presents an intriguing puzzle, locates and examines the evidence, detects clues that unravel the mystery, and finally proposes a solution. The solutions are all original, often surprising, sometimes highly controversial. Providing a unique insight into how language contact shapes varieties of English, this entertaining yet rigorous account will be welcomed by students and researchers in linguistics, sociolinguistics and historical linguistics.


‘Trudgill has done it again, producing a provocative and interesting book on a subject on which he is a recognized authority. This work will be read with interest by all concerned with language contact, language change, and the history of English.’

Brian D. Joseph - Ohio State University

'Investigations in Sociohistorical Linguistics creates a brilliant new paradigm for research in linguistics. Just as the name suggests, the book bridges the heretofore vast divide between sociolinguistic and historical linguistic approaches to language and language change, encapsulating the difference between 'macro-diachronic linguistics' and 'micro-diachronic linguistics'. [Trudgill] skilfully navigates the formal and the informal, incorporating aspects of popular history with detailed insights on all levels of linguistic structure, making this a delightful read.'

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