Language and Identity: An introduction

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $108.68
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 19%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $108.68   
  • New (4) from $108.68   
  • Used (2) from $134.98   


The language we use forms an important part of our sense of who we are – of our identity. This book outlines the relationship between our identity as members of groups – ethnic, national, religious and gender – and the language varieties important to each group. What is a language? What is a dialect? Are there such things as language 'rights'? Must every national group have its own unique language? How have languages, large and small, been used to spread religious ideas? Why have particular religious and linguistic 'markers' been so central, singly or in combination, to the ways in which we think about ourselves and others? Using a rich variety of examples, the book highlights the linkages among languages, dialects and identities, with special attention given to religious, ethnic and national allegiances.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Written in a truly interdisciplinary spirit, this rich, lucid and irreverent book on language, culture and politics is bound to win admirers across the humanities and social sciences. Very readable, highly enjoyable, deeply enlightening.' Thomas Hylland Eriksen, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Oslo

'This wide-reaching book is of admirable clarity in presenting diverse, complex issues … Edward's opinions … are clearly explained and reasoned in relation to the scholarly literature and would certainly serve to generate lively debate in a classroom setting and interest scholars of nationalism seeking an introduction to related aspects of sociolinguistics.' Nations and Nationalism

'This volume gives a full overview of key issues, trends and research relating to its title Language and Identity in the following areas: personal identity (both individual and group), language and dialect, gender, religion, ethnicity, nationalism, and language planning and ecology. As such, it provides a useful textbook for students, with study questions and further reading at the end of each chapter.' Carol Sanders, Professor Emeritus, University of Surrey

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521873819
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/30/2009
  • Series: Key Topics in Sociolinguistics Series
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John Edwards is Professor of Psychology at St Francis Xavier University, Nova Scotia. His previous publications include Language in Canada (Cambridge, 1998).

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; 2. Identity, the individual and the group; 3. Identifying ourselves; 4. Language, dialect and identity; 5. Dialect and identity: beyond standard and non-standard; 6. Language, religion and identity; 7. Language, gender and identity; 8. Ethnicity and nationalism; 9. Assessments of nationalism; 10. Language and nationalism; 11. Language planning and language ecology.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)