Language Uses in Professional Contexts

Mary McGroarty

in The Oxford Handbook of Applied Linguistics

Second edition

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780195384253
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Language Uses in Professional Contexts


The use of language in professional context is the essence of this article. Scholars in several disciplines have studied the language used in professional contexts for many different reasons, so this topic represents an unusually interdisciplinary panorama. This article reviews some current work comprising the study of language in professional contexts with the dual goals of illustrating representative approaches taken to date and suggesting where additional efforts by applied linguists could be most productive. Social scientists have examined the language used in traditional high-status professions of law and medicine and similarly status-sensitive fields of education and social work for decades; consequently, applied linguists find a substantial foundation for related work. Research on language uses in professional activities belongs in the mainstream of contemporary applied linguistics. Without it, theorists are likely to oversimplify the contradictions connecting the study of language and society.

Keywords: language use; interdisciplinary; study of language; applied linguistics; language; society

Article.  6624 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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