Social networks -- those informal and formal social relationships of which any human society is composed -- are distinguished by their own patters of language use. Lesley Milroy is concerned with the manner in which patterns of linguisitic variation characterize particular groups (social and cultural, geographic, male and female) within a complex urban community. First published in 1980, Language and Social Networks has had a great influence on the development of sociolinguistics. The second edition incorporates an extensive new chapter reappraising the original research and discussing other sociolinguistic work in the same paradigm.
Lesley Milroy is Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.