Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics / Edition 2

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Why have 1500 separate languages developed in the Pacific region? Why do Danes understand Norwegians better than Norwegians understand Danish? Is Ebonics a language or a dialect?

Linguistics tends to ignore the relationship between languages and the societies in which they are spoken, while sociology generally overlooks the role of language in the constitution of society. In this book Suzanne Romaine provides a clear, lively, and accessible introduction to the field of sociolinguistics and emphasizes the constant interaction between society and language. She shows how our linguistic choices are motivated by social factors, and how certain ways of speaking come to be vested with symbolic value, drawing from evidence from studies of cultures and languages all over the world.

This new edition incorporates new material on current issues in the study of gender as well as other topics such as the linguistic dimension to the ethnic conflict in the Balkans, and the controversy over Ebonics in the United States.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Refreshingly up-to-date, with a broad range of pertinent examples. It deserves to become the standard introduction to that most basic of sciences, sociolinguistics. Top marks!"--John R. Perry, University of Chicago

"An engaging introductory book, easy to read and accessible enough for undergraduate students while being current and detailed enough for a graduate level introductory courses....A good substitute for Trudgill's....My students were also pleased with the affordability of the text."--Joaquin S. Vila, Mankato State University

"Provides an excellent foundation for students in introductory courses. Excellent resource to supplement multicultural courses in speech-language pathology and audiology."--Adele Proctor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"An up-to-date, somtimes issue oriented, and very readable introductory text. Good examples used."--Brian Stross, University of Texas

"Would recommend this book strongly as a general introduction to the study of language....It should be read before books on syntax or others on 'sociolinguistics' because it clearly lays before the reader the essentials of language as a tool for communication in a human context. Readable and informative."--Robert Austerlitz, Columbia University

"This appears to be an ideal text for my course, Language and Culture."--Harold R. Battersby, SUNY-Geneseo

"This book is a valuable introduction to the field of sociolinguistics for upper-level undergraduates and graduate students. It is a readable yet thorough study which offers both the traditional viewpoint and alternative perspectives on a 'still rather young' discipline."--Language In Society

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198731924
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,154,077
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Suzanne Romaine is Merton Professor of English Language at the University of Oxford and author of a number of books.

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Table of Contents

Language in Society/Society in Language
Language Choice
Sociolinguistic Patterns
Language and Gender
Language Change in Social Prespective
Pidgin and Creole Languages
Linguistic Problems as Societal Problems

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