The Handbook of Sociolinguistics (Blackwell Handbooks in - download pdf or read online

By Florian Coulmas

ISBN-10: 0631211934

ISBN-13: 9780631211938

In 28 newly- commissioned chapters, amazing members offer an up to date assessment of sociolinguistics.

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Extra resources for The Handbook of Sociolinguistics (Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics)

Example text

Thus it is not correct to state (for example) that the standardization of English was completed at some particular time, such as the eighteenth century. Finally, it should further be noted that the speech communities in which quantitative sociolinguists have usually worked have been within nation states in which a standardized form of the language is considered to be a well established superordinate norm (as contrasted with pidgin situations, for example). As a consequence of this, an understanding of processes of change in such communities should ideally take account of this fact.

For a discussion of “diatypic” distinctiveness and the means by which it is typically realized see Denison, 1968. The greatest advantage of the linguistic metaphors which give us the “deep/surface” dichotomy and the “expression/content” dichotomy is that they provide us with an insight into the dynamic (thus, ultimately, also diachronic) instability of the relationships between the two levels. This means that in any repertoire the function of linguistic substance and structure can slip, slide, jump, not only from item to item of the “content” within each of our four categories, but also from category to category.

Class accounts for the hierarchical structure of society (arising from inequalities of wealth and power), whereas network deals with the dimension of solidarity at the level of the individual and his or her everyday contacts. An attempt has been made to link the two concepts together in a sociolinguistic model by using the notion of weak network ties (Milroy and Milroy, 1992). It is evident that close-knit solidarity ties are characteristic of lower and higher social groups, and that, in the middle sectors of society, social network density and multiplexity tend to be weak.

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The Handbook of Sociolinguistics (Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics) by Florian Coulmas


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