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Language and Society

Language and Society

2nd Edition

$73.99 (X)


Part of Cambridge Approaches to Linguistics

  • Date Published: October 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521456630

$ 73.99 (X)

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About the Authors
  • This thoroughly revised and updated edition of Downes' textbook is an accessible introduction to the social aspects of language and their various explanations. Topics covered include domains of language use, language change, code-switching, speech as social action, and the nature of meaning and understanding. This new edition includes an up-to-date analysis of language standardization, language conflict and planning.

    • The clearest and most reliable introduction to the field of sociolinguistics available today
    • A clear survey of the key topics students will face when coming to the subject for the first time
    • This new, updated edition has been thoroughly revised to take account of new areas and directions in the subject
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Downes's Language and Society is the clearest and most reliable introduction to the field of sociolinguistics available today." William Labov, University of Pennsylvania

    "Of textbooks on the market, Downes's is arguably the best, providing the most thorough overview of the subject." Language

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: October 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521456630
    • length: 516 pages
    • dimensions: 203 x 127 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 6 b/w illus. 9 maps 15 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Linguistics and sociolinguistics
    2. A tapestry in space and time
    3. Language varieties: processes and problems
    4. Discovering the structure in variation
    5. Rhoticity
    6. At the intersection of social factors
    7. Change, meaning and acts of identity
    8. The discourse of social life
    9. Communication: words and world
    10. Action and critique
    11. Language and social explanation
    Further reading

  • Author

    William Downes, University of East Anglia
    William Downes is currently a Senior Fellow in the School of Language and Communication Studies at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, and Adjunct Professor of English and Linguistics at Glendon College, York University, Toronto. Educated at Queen's University and the University of Toronto and at University College London, he has taught at York University, Toronto, and in England at the London School of Economics and the University of East Anglia. He has been a Northrop Frye Fellow at Victoria College and Senior Resident at Massey College, University of Toronto. His most recent book Language and Religion: A Journey into the Human Mind was published in 2011 by Cambridge University Press. Committed to interdisciplinarity - he has bridged the human sciences, linguistics, and the humanities, literature, philosophy, history and politics - he believes that the concept of the 'two cultures' is an over-simple and problematical notion within the overall philosophy and history of disciplined inquiry. His long term research programme has been the use of the science of linguistics, broadly understood to include cognition and communication, as a method for the study of cultural representations in social context in a way sensitive to issues in philosophy and politics and the other humanities. This is a study of the nature of the representation of information in all its forms; in cognition or the mind-brain, in behaviour, in language in all its varieties and contexts, in history, literature, music, art and architecture.

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