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An Introduction to Sociolinguistics / Edition 6

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This comprehensive new edition of Wardhaugh’s textbook incorporates additional study features and numerous new and updated references to bring the book completely up-to-date, whilst maintaining the features that made the book so popular with lecturers and students: accessible coverage of a wide range of issues, clearly written, and with useful student study features.

  • A fully revised new edition of Ronald Wardhaugh’s popular introduction to sociolinguistics, which now includes over 150 new and updated references and new study features throughout
  • Features new “Explorations” sections in each chapter incorporating suggested readings, discussion sections, and exercises – all designed to encourage students to develop their own skills and ideas
  • Reflects new developments in the field, providing greater focus on ideas such as identity, solidarity, and markedness
  • Provides balanced coverage of a range of topics, including: language dialects, pidgins and Creoles, codes, bilingualism, speech communities, variation, words and culture, ethnographies, solidarity and politeness, talk and action, gender, disadvantage, and planning
  • Comprehensive and accessible, it is the ideal introduction for students coming to sociolinguistics for the first time
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Comprehensively, the book provides a rich source of overviews of the field of sociolinguistics that will undoubtedly afford researchers and students in the area insightful knowledge evoking additional future dialogue and research." (LINGUIST List, December 2010)

Praise for Previous Editions

“The standard text in advanced undergraduate and introductory graduate courses” (Language)

“Among the various introductions to sociolinguistics, this one certainly stands out in its comprehensiveness… it offers a wealth of relevant and correct information” (Sociolinguistica)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405186681
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/19/2009
  • Series: Blackwell Textbooks in Linguistics Series , #16
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 6
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 493,094
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald Wardhaugh is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Toronto. He is the author of a number of books, including Proper English (1998) and Understanding English Grammar (second edition, 2003), both published by Wiley-Blackwell.

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Table of Contents



1. Introduction

Knowledge of Language


Language and Society

Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language

Methodological Concerns


Further Reading

Part I: Languages and Communities:

2. Languages, Dialects, and Varieties

Language or Dialect?


Regional Dialects

Social Dialects

Styles, Registers, and Beliefs

Further Reading

3. Pidgins and Creoles

Lingua Francas


Distribution and Characteristics


From Pidgin to Creole and Beyond

Further Reading

4. Codes


Bilingualism and Multilingualism



Further Reading

5. Speech Communities


Intersecting Communities

Networks and Repertoires

Further Reading

Part II: Inherent Variety:

6. Language Variation

Regional Variation

The Linguistic Variable

Social Variation

Data Collection and Analysis

Further Reading

7. Some Findings and Issues

An Early Study

New York City

Norwich and Reading

A Variety of Studies



Further Reading

8. Change

The Traditional View

Some Changes in Progress

The Process of Change

Further Reading

Part III: Words at Work:

9. Words and Culture






Taboo and Euphemism

Further Reading

10. Ethnographies

Varieties of Talk

The Ethnography of Speaking


Further Reading

11. Solidarity and Politeness

Tu and Vous

Address Terms


Further Reading

12. Talk and Action

Speech Acts



Further Reading

Part IV: Understanding and Intervening:

13. Gender


Possible Explanations

Further Reading

14. Disadvantage

Codes Again

African American English

Consequences for Education

Further Reading

15. Planning


A Variety of Situations

Further Examples

Winners and Losers

Further Reading

16. Conclusion



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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 22, 2012

    It's a plus for me- check it out!

    Great teachers' reference material. The ebook format allows you to read whenever and wherever you want. While reading it you get to highlight important information and take notes, too.

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