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  • Cited by 15
  • 2nd edition
  • Florian Coulmas, German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo
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Book description

Why do we speak the way we do? What are the social factors that influence our choices of expression? This best-selling introduction to the study of language and society encourages students to think about these fundamental questions, asking how and why we select from the vast range of different words, accents, varieties and languages available to us. In this new and updated edition, students are taken step-by-step through the analysis of linguistic expressions, speech varieties and languages in complex settings. Enriched with recent findings from different languages and speech communities around the world, this comprehensive textbook equips students with knowledge of the main concepts and gives them a coherent view of the complex interaction of language and society.'Questions for Discussion' help students understand how speakers' choices are conditioned by the society in which they liveNew to this edition is a rich repertoire of online resources and further reading, enabling students to investigate more deeply and advance their learningIncludes a topical new chapter on research ethics, guiding students on the ethical questions involved in sociolinguistic research.


‘To write a great introductory text you have to make a statement about fundamental issues. Here, the notion of choice bridges the gap between micro and macrosociolinguistics and brings both cohesion and edge to the book.’

Frans Gregersen - The Lanchart Centre, University of Copenhagen

‘This is the book I’d [choose] to introduce students to the fast developing field of sociolinguistics, for it combines clear explanations with intriguing examples.’

Bernard Spolsky - Professor Emeritus, Bar-Ilan University

‘A highly original synthesis of decades of sociolinguistics research, and an agenda setter, around the key notion of ‘choice’, for many years to come.’

Li Wei - Birkbeck, University of London

'… a well-written compendium, providing readers with a concise, yet elaborate description of sociolinguistic research … The topics addressed are broad and wide-sweeping, showing the diversity of sociolinguistic research while at the same time making each arena seem accessible to the novice researcher. It was a pleasant read, informative, and extremely useful. … an excellent book.'

Brad Miller Source: Journal of Sociolinguistics

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