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What is sociolinguistics?
This introductory textbook provides a penetrating answer to this question, explaining basic sociolinguistic concepts through a wide range of examples, and by drawing on 'classic' approaches to the subject as well as from the most recent research.
The book is conveniently divided into three sections:
• Section one shows how language is used in multilingual speech communities and explains the varying patterns of language use. Janet Holmes examines how and why languages change within society and highlights the factors that lead to the displacement of one language by another and sometimes the death of a language.
• Section two explores social reasons for language change, looking at language change in monolingual communities and the features of a variety of dialects. The author shows how and why differing racial and social groups develop and maintain speech variations.
• The final section assesses how attitudes to language affect speech and shows that linguistic responses depend on a variety of contextual factors - for example, the status of the person being addressed and our reasons for speaking.
This new edition has been updated thoroughly throughout, and adds new sections on social constructionist approaches to language and gender, and the concept of community of practice. There is also a completely new chapter on language, cognition and culture, which introduces students to the ideas of Benjamin Lee Whorf, as well as to the wider implications of the important concept of linguistic relativity.
Containing a series of student exercisesand suggestions for further reading, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics is an essential introductory text for students of sociolinguistics and anyone interested in the study of language.
Janet Holmes holds a personal Chair in Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington, where she teaches a variety of sociolinguistics courses.
|1||What do sociolinguists study?||1|
|What is a sociolinguist?||1|
|Why do we say the same thing in different ways?||3|
|What are the different ways we say things?||6|
|Social factors, dimensions and explanations||11|
|Sect. I||Multilingual Speech Communities||19|
|2||Language choice in multilingual communities||21|
|Choosing your variety or code||21|
|Code-switching or code-mixing||40|
|3||Language maintenance and shift||55|
|Language shift in different communities||55|
|Language death and language loss||61|
|Factors contributing to language shift||65|
|How can a minority language be maintained?||71|
|4||Linguistic varieties and multilingual nations||79|
|Pidgins and creoles||89|
|5||National languages and language planning||103|
|National and official languages||105|
|Planning for a national official language||112|
|Developing a standard variety in Norway||118|
|The linguist's role in language planning||121|
|Sect. II||Language Variation: reflecting its users||131|
|6||Regional and social dialects||133|
|7||Sex and age||164|
|Sex-exclusive speech differences||164|
|Sex-preferential speech features||167|
|Sex and social class||168|
|Explanations of women's linguistic behaviour||171|
|Age-graded features of speech||181|
|Age and social dialect data||184|
|8||Ethnicity and social networks||190|
|Variation and change||211|
|How do changes spread?||218|
|How do we study language change?||225|
|Reasons for language change||229|
|Sect. III||Language Variation: reflecting its uses||243|
|10||Style, context and register||245|
|Addressee as an influence on style||246|
|Context, style and class||260|
|Style in non-Western societies||271|
|11||Speech functions, politeness and cross-cultural communication||285|
|The functions of speech||286|
|Politeness and address forms||296|
|Linguistic politeness in different cultures||304|
|12||Sex, politeness and stereotypes||312|
|Women's language and confidence||312|
|13||Attitudes and applications||344|
|Attitudes to language||344|
|Sociolinguistics and education||357|
|Dimensions of sociolinguistic analysis||376|
|Appendix: phonetic symbols||402|