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Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics Paperback – January 25, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0198731924 ISBN-10: 0198731922 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (January 25, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0198731922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0198731924
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.8 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #851,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Overall Romaine's work is a very thorough introduction to the study of sociolinguistics. Greg Watson, Language and Literature, Journal of the Poetics and Linguistics Association

About the Author

Professor Suzanne Romaine is Merton Professor of English Language at the University of Oxford and author of a number of books.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By H. Chen-Cheng on January 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a concise book on sociolinguistics. It does not dwell excessively on methodology or theoretical perspectives but offers through many examples, some presented via tables and figures, a taste of the kinds of issues sociolinguists struggle with, as well as some of their major findings. As a specialist in the Papua New Ginean languages, Romaine naturally makes good use of non-Western examples like Tok Pisin to illustrate such problems as language/dialect, language contact, language hierarchy, though she also draws examples from the Scandanavian languages as well as research on the social dialects of English. The book is highly readable even to a non-linguist like me. It probably does not cover all the conceivable major topics, but what it covers it covers well. The annotated bibliography at the end of each chapter is a useful guide to further reading.
My only complaint regards her non-critical citation of the much-repeated "fact" (to illustrate the language/dialect problem) that speakers of mutually unintelligible Chinese languages share a common writing system. This of course is true only for the classical literary (written) language, not the vernacular varieties.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By T. Hooper on June 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Suzanne Romaine takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the field of sociolinguistics. The role of society in language use is examined from many different angles. Since this is an introductory book, it doesn't go into each subfield very deeply, but it does give you a broad overview of what we study in this field. I thought that the author paid particular attention to the issues of pidgins and creoles, and gender issues in language use. This would be useful for beginners in sociolinguistics and for those interested in the two specializations mentioned above.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kazuma on March 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
What is sociolinguistics? What does it aim to do? and in What respects does it diverge from other theoretical linguistic approaches?-if you have questions like these, there is every reason why you should buy and read this book. This inspiring introduction to a relatively new field of linguistics explains clearly and in a plain style why that field was born, what ends it can serve and what attitudes it takes toward lanaguge science; insomuch that those who has just started to take interest in the field of linguistics have no difficulty understanding it; but, on the contrary, can enjoy reading it.

Whether you can agree with the author's ideas, whether you find her arguments satisfying, I know not; but one thing is certain: regardless of whether you are for or againts this book's assertions, reading this book can never be a waste of time.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Tyson on July 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is the book you should read first if you have even a slight interest in Sociolinguistics, the branch of linguistics dealing with how society uses language. My particular area of interest is code-switching (when a person switches from one language to another within an exchange, i.e. "Have agua, please?") and I read Dr. Romaine's book to prepare me for a volume particulary about code-switching. Thanks to Dr. Romaine for a great read.
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Language in Society: An Introduction to Sociolinguistics
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