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Book description

This accessible new textbook provides a clear introduction to sociolinguistics, the study of why we speak the way we do, and the social factors that influence our linguistic decisions. Based on the notion of 'choice' - that as speakers we select from the options open to us - it provides a solid theoretical framework to deal with the most fascinating characteristic of language: its variability and diversity. Topics covered include dialects, gender and age specific speech forms, professional jargons, diglossia, bilingualism, code-switching, pidgin languages, and language planning, all of which are unified by the common theme that speakers, by making choices, create their language. Drawing on linguistic variation from a wide range of societies and their languages, this is set to become a key text for all students of sociolinguistics, and will be welcomed by anyone interested in the complex interaction between language and society.


'In this state-of-the-art introduction to the field of sociolinguistics, Florian Coulmas' considerable breadth and depth of knowledge is not worn on his sleeve but organised into a pacey and accessible series of thirteen chapters. … I thoroughly commend Coulmas' volume as work of tremendous scholarship and synthesis … His reading is as up-to-date as one can hope for … and his analysis is intelligent, reasoned and humane.'

Source: Journal of Sociolinguistics

'For beginning students, it is an excellent start; for linguistics, it is a useful statement of what a sociolinguist has learned over a long and productive career.'

Source: Journal of Multilingual & Multicultural Development

'This textbook offers a detailed, yet varied, introduction to the theory of Sociolinguistics, working from a micro-perspective and building towards macro-approaches to the study of language variation and change.'

Erin Carrie Source: Journal of Language and Politics

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