'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 politeness multilingualism and language choice real time and apparent time change in language social class, social networks and communities of practice gender 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.
Table of Contents
List of Tables. List of Figures. List of Sounds and Symbols. Maps 1. Introduction to Using this Book 2. Introducing and Understanding Sociolinguistics 3. Variation and Style 4. Language Attitudes 5. Being Polite as a Variable in Speech 6. Multilingualism and Language Choice 7. Real Time and Apparent Time 8. Social Class 9. Social Networks and Communities of Practice 10. Gender 11. Language Contact 12. Looking Back and Looking Ahead. Notes on the Exercises. Glossary. References. Index
Miriam Meyerhoff has taught sociolinguistics in places as diverse as New Zealand, Hawai'i, the mainland United States, Vanuatu and Scotland. She has consulted on sociolinguistic issues for the print and broadcast media and published books and articles on language variation, language and gender, and language contact. She is currently Professor of Linguistics at the University of Auckland.