In this new edition of a classic textbook, Martin Montgomery explores some of the ways in which the life of language intermingles with the life of society. He explores the ways in which children learn language in interaction with those around them, thereby developing a crucial resource for making sense of their world. He considers the function of language in everyday encounters and in shaping social relations. Finally he looks at the ways in which our habitual ways of seeing and engaging with the world may be shaped by the categories, systems and patterns of our language. The second edition addresses the profound technological changes which have taken place since the book was first published and assesses their impact on the ways in which we communicate with each other - from sate communication systems to virtual reality and the information superhighway'. This new edition includes: a new chapter on gender and language new material on register, the speech community, language and subcultures and language and representation detailed suggestions for further reading and practical work.
Martin Montgomery is director of the Programme on Literary Linguistics at the University of Strathclyde where he is also a member of the John Logie Baird Centre for film and television.