Discovering Sociolinguistics: From Theory to Practice

Discovering Sociolinguistics: From Theory to Practice

by Dick Smakman

Paperback(1st ed. 2018)

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This engagingly written textbook provides a unique ‘hands-on’ introduction to sociolinguistics, which equips readers with the tools to start their own sociolinguistic research project. The book begins by outlining the historical, theoretical and cultural space in which language use occurs, before delving into the key topics and concepts of today’s field. It examines the choices speakers make in everyday life and assesses language and status across the world, by investigating variation in cultural norms. Sociolinguistic variables such as age and gender are surveyed, along with the socio-cultural context of second language acquisition. The second half of the book equips readers with the skills needed to undertake sociolinguistic research of their own.

This is an ideal introductory text for students taking courses in sociolinguistics, language and society, language in use or language variation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137519078
Publisher: Macmillan Education UK
Publication date: 10/31/2017
Edition description: 1st ed. 2018
Pages: 307
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Dick Smakman is a Lecturer in Sociolinguistics and Language Acquisition at Leiden University, the Netherlands.

Table of Contents


1. Early Sociolinguistics

The birth of a field

2. Sociolinguistics today

The modern study of language in a social space

3. The good language

Language norms and ideology

4. Language variation

The various shapes of language

5. The language of culture

Practices and belief systems as sociolinguistic variables


6. Speaker fate and choices

The individual in a sociolinguistic space

7. The language of a lifetime

Age and time as sociolinguistic factors

8. Being a woman or a man

Gender as a sociolinguistic variable

9. The people’s language

Folk Linguistics & Perceptual Dialectology

10. What say you?

Attitudes about language

11. Second Language Sociolinguistics

Linguistic choices by learners

12. The more equal language

Language and status across the globe


13. Ready, set, research

Steps towards a sociolinguistic research project

14. Crunching numbers

Introducing statistics

15. The sounds of language

Introducing Phonetics from a Sociolinguistic point of view

16. Write it down

Introducing the sociolinguistic research report


17. Language out there

Investigating naturally occurring language

18. Speak to me

Investigating elicited language

19. While you were speaking

Investigating ongoing communication

20. Don’t get me started

Investigating attitudes and perceptions

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Dick Smakman has been a champion in the movement of globalizing sociolinguistics. With this textbook he brings the movement to the student populations of the world. Among the textbooks of sociolinguistics in English, Discovering Sociolinguistics is, thus far, the best effort in transcending the cultural barriers associated with the language.”(Daming Xu, University of Macau)

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