'Here is a welcome introduction to sociolinguistics by a leading researcher in the field. Users will be inspired by the breadth and sweep of Meyerhoff's treatment.' – William Labov, University of Pennsylvania, USA
'Miriam Meyerhoff’s entertaining volume revels in the diversity that is the cornerstone of sociolinguistics – she takes us to every continent to provide contemporary, refreshing and engaging examples of the key concepts of the discipline, and does so in a well-paced and readable style. The book is authoritative yet open-minded, innovative yet touches all the bases that need to be touched. Most of all, it embodies a passion for sociolinguistics that I hope many readers will embrace.' – David Britain, University of Essex, UK
This key text provides a solid, up-to-date appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of the field. It covers foundation issues, recent advances and current debates – presenting familiar or classic data in new ways, and supplementing the familiar with fresh examples from a wide range of languages and social settings. It clearly explains the patterns and systems that underlie language variation in use, as well as the ways in which alternations between different language varieties index personal style, social power and national identity.
Individual chapters cover:
- social dialects and individual style
- language attitudes
- multilingualism and language choice
- real time and apparent time change in language
- social class, social networks and communities of practice
- language and dialect contact.
Each chapter includes exercises that enable readers to engage critically with the text, break out boxes making connections between sociolinguistics and linguistic or social theory, and brief, lively add-ons guaranteed to make the book a memorable and enjoyable read. With a full glossary of terms and suggestions for further reading, this text gives students all the tools they need for an excellent command of sociolinguistics.