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Sociolinguistics Basics        What are some of the key questions sociolinguists consider?

Center for Applied Linguistics CAL's mission is to promote language understanding

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Sociolinguistics Index

What is Sociolinguistics?

Detailed Article Index

  • Social Identity
    Language is more than just words. It's a powerful social behavior that speaks volumes about who we are, where we come from and how we relate. Walt Wolfram (North Carolina State University) explains how the field of sociolinguistics has taken on new significance as a means of understanding our world.
  • Sociolinguistics Basics
    Language is basic to social interactions, affecting them and being affected by them. Connie Eble (University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill) explains how sociolinguistics analyzes the many ways in which language and society intersect.
  • A Linguist's Journey
    The founder of modern sociolinguistics, William Labov (University of Pennsylvania) shares his personal reflections.
  • Managing Language
    In a global economy, the need to nurture, cultivate and manage multilingual resources within the United States is more pronounced than ever. John Baugh (Stanford University) explains how sociolinguists plays a role.

Suggested Reading/Additional Resources

  • Chaika, Elaine. Language: The Social Mirror. 3rd ed.  Boston: Heinle & Heinle, 1994.
  • Coulmas, Florian, ed. The Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.
  • Macaulay, Ronald K. S. The Social Art: Language and Its Uses. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
  • Trudgill, Peter. Sociolinguistics: An introduction to language and society. London: Penguin Books, 1995.
  • Wardhaugh, Ronald. An introduction to sociolinguistics. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1992.
  • Wolfram, Walt. Dialects and American English. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1991. (reissued by Basil Blackwell in 1998 as American English: Dialects and variation).
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