Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very introductory, 24 Dec 2002
This review is from: Sociolinguistics (Oxford Introduction to Language Study ELT) (Paperback)
This is a decent introduction to the topic of sociolinguistics, though I think there are other better introductory texts. It's quite a slim volume, with seven chapters. First the author discusses the study of language from a social perspective, including the approaches and methodologies used in sociolingustics. Then he moves on to the ethnography of speaking and converstation structure, including a section on the roles of politeness and terms of address. He then deals with variation, then style, gender and social class. The next two chapters discuss bilingualism and multilingualism. Finally, the last chapter covers the more general topic of "applied linguistics", which deals with the various aspects of language planning and policy.
Although the book often discusses English, it is by no means limited to Western examples. One major disadvantage of this book is that it does not contain an index. On the other hand, the last third of the book is dedicated to readings related to each of the chapter topics. These readings are generally very small snippets from "real" people in the field. While these might be nice, I think they are too short to be of any real use, as they remind me of things you see in high school textbooks. What they do is make it clear that this book is really intended for the reader early in their academic career: even those new to linguistics might find the book to simplistic if they are beyond first year or so.
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