The Study of Language and Society

Robert Bayley, Richard Cameron and Ceil Lucas

in The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199744084
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Study of Language and Society


This chapter introduces this volume on sociolinguistics, noting how this study differs from existing work. It considers sociolinguistics as an interdisciplinary exercise, emphasizing new methodological developments, particularly the convergence of linguistic anthropology and variationist sociolinguistics. The volume cites sociolinguistic developments in areas of the world that have been relatively neglected in the major journals. While many authors include examples from English, contributors have worked in a range of languages and address sociolinguistic issues in bi- and multilingual contexts. Finally, the volume includes substantial material on the rapidly growing study of sign language sociolinguistics. The focus on bi- and multilingual contexts, and emphasis on developments in numerous areas around the world, give an appropriate place to sign languages.

Keywords: sociolinguistics; linguistic anthropology; sign language; multilingualism; variationist sociolinguistics

Article.  2791 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Sociolinguistics

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