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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
November 2023
Print publication year:
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Book description

For more than a decade, linguistics has moved increasingly away from evaluating language as an autonomous phenomenon, towards analysing it 'in use', and showing how its function within its social and interactional context plays an important role in shaping in its form. Bringing together state-of-the-art research from some of the most influential scholars in linguistics today, this Handbook presents an extensive picture of the study of language as it used 'in context' across a number of key linguistic subfields and frameworks. Organised into five thematic parts, the volume covers a range of theoretical perspectives, with each chapter surveying the latest work from areas as diverse as syntax, pragmatics, psycholinguistics, applied linguistics, conversational analysis, multimodality, and computer-mediated communication. Comprehensive, yet wide-ranging, the Handbook presents a full description of how the theory of context has revolutionised linguistics, and how its renewed study is crucial in an ever-changing world.


‘Informative, impressively broad in scope, thoughtfully conceived of as a collection, and, most of all, masterly executed by experts in the individual fields, this is a must-read for everyone who cares about the role of context in creating and conveying meaning. As the Editor says, ‘context is everywhere’; this collection shows how to approach it, in its different guises and functions, from a variety of perspectives.’

Kasia M. Jaszczolt - Professor of Linguistics and Philosophy of Language, University of Cambridge

‘This Handbook is an exceptionally significant volume which highlights the importance of context for language processing. Containing 21 well-balanced chapters across five parts, it includes descriptions both of the evolution of theories of context and modern day applications and advances. It is an incredibly worthy addition to any collection of linguistics texts.’

Rachael-Anne Knight - Professor of Phonetics, University of Essex

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  • 1 - Conversation Analysis
    pp 9-48

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