Skip to main content Accessibility help
  • ISSN: 0047-4045 (Print), 1469-8013 (Online)
  • Editors: Professor Susan Ehrlich York University, Canada, and Professor Tommaso Milani University of Gothenburg, Sweden,
  • Editorial board
Language in Society is an international journal of sociolinguistics concerned with language and discourse as aspects of social life. The journal publishes empirical articles of general theoretical, comparative or methodological interest to students and scholars in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and related fields. Language in Society aims to strengthen international scholarship and interdisciplinary conversation and cooperation among researchers interested in language and society by publishing work of high quality which speaks to a wide audience. In addition to original articles, the journal publishes reviews and notices of the latest important books in the field as well as occasional theme and discussion sections.

Editors' Pick

Enjoy free access to a collection of articles selected by the Editors to showcase how sociolinguistic research on language, race and gender has a bearing on current issues in U.S. social/political life:

Call for special issues

Language in Society publishes special issues of the journal once a year. As editors, we want to make the selection process for these special issues more transparent by issuing a call for proposals at a particular time during the year. These proposals will be reviewed by the editors and relevant members of the editorial board (i.e., editorial board members with expertise in the subject matter of the proposed special issue).  We are seeking collections of articles that make a significant contribution to the advancement of the study of language in society by pushing debates forward in innovative ways or by taking discussions in new directions. We are looking for collections of papers that connect in meaningful ways with each other and which cohere to form something more than the sum of the collection’s parts.

The deadline for proposals is 30 October 2020. Proposals should describe the contribution of the collection as a whole in approximately 2000 words and should also include 250/300-word abstracts from authors. Proposals should be e-mailed to by the deadline. Please address any questions to the editors at this same email address. 

A message from the incoming Co-Editors Susan L. Ehrlich and Tommaso M. Milani

We are thrilled to take on the position of Co-Editors of Language in Society. Our aim is to cultivate the theoretical and methodological breadth that has characterized Language in Society since its inception by encouraging publications that span the gamut of sociolinguistic inquiry, from variationist sociolinguistics to critical discourse analysis and linguistic anthropology. There are areas, however, that we feel are underrepresented in the journal. We would like address some of these gaps by commissioning special issues of the journal from leading scholars in sociolinguistics on topics such as socio-phonetics, linguistic variation and embodiment, multimodality, raciolinguistics, language and globalization, the political economy of multilingualism, and language and affect. In the same way, while we are committed to publishing cutting-edge work from North America, the United Kingdom and Europe, we also plan to further broaden the geopolitical range of the articles in the journal. Because of Tommaso’s ties with the Global South, we want to actively expand the geopolitical breadth of the Editorial Board in order to increase the number of submissions from countries that are currently underrepresented in the journal.

Other sociolinguistics journals from Cambridge

Cambridge Extra at LINGUIST List

  • A message from Cambridge Editors
  • 23 September 2020, Jen Malat
  • We hope that you are all keeping safe and well during these strange times. It’s a shame that current circumstances prevent us from meeting in person at conferences   Andrew Winnard, Executive Publisher (sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology) Rebecca Taylor, Commissioning Editor (applied linguistics) Helen Barton, Commissioning Editor (formal and . . . → Read More: A message from Cambridge Editors...
  • Language as Symbolic Power
  • 28 August 2020, Rachel
  •  Written by Claire Kramsch, author of Language as Symbolic Power When twenty years ago I decided to teach an undergraduate course on Language and Power in my German department at UC Berkeley,  I didn’t have any other purpose in mind than to share my newly acquired insights into post-structuralist approaches to language study with students who were learning a foreign language. As they were working hard to acquire French or German and to develop the ability to communicate with foreign others, I wanted to show them how much more there is to language than just grammar and vocabulary. Why, behind their choices of what to say, what not to say, and how to say it, there was a whole power game going . . . → Read More: Language as Symbolic Power...
  • How a #CheekyNandos became more acceptable
  • 03 August 2020, Dan Iredale
  • By Laura R. Bailey (University of Kent) and Mercedes Durham (Cardiff University) Our recent article, A cheeky investigation: Tracking the semantic change of cheeky from monkeys to wines describes the behaviour of cheeky in British and American English. Introduction For Mercedes, growing up in French-speaking Switzerland but speaking American English at home meant having to ‘relearn’ English at school with her classmates. They were learning British English, which, for Mercedes, often led to confusion. Confusion sometimes turned into hilarity, particularly the time she was confronted with a picture of a dog stealing sausages and the exclamation ‘What a cheeky dog!’. Cheeky, for people or dogs, just wasn’t in her vocabulary. Fast forward a couple decades when she moved to the UK, and found that . . . → Read More: How a #CheekyNandos became more acceptable...