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The SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics

The SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics

First Edition
Edited by:

November 2010 | 648 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This Handbook answers a long-standing need for an up-to-date, comprehensive, international, in-depth critical survey of the history, trajectory, data, results and key figures involved in sociolinguistics.

The Handbook consists of six inter-linked sections:

  • The History of Sociolinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics and Social Theory
  • Language, Variation and Change
  • Interaction
  • Multilingualism and Contact
  • Applications

The result is a work of unprecedented coverage and insight. It is all here, from the foundational contributions to the field to the impact of new media, new technologies of communication, globalization, trans-border fluidities and agendas of research.

The book will quickly be recognized as a benchmark in the field. It will provide a basis for reckoning its origins and pathways of development as well as an authoritative account of the central debates and research issues of today.


Ruth Wodak, Barbara Johnstone and Paul Kerswill
Bernard Spolsky
Ferguson and Fishman: Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language
Kirk Hazen
Labov: Language Variation and Change
Gabrielle Ivinson
Bernstein: Codes and Social Class
Barbara Johnstone and William M. Marcellino
Dell Hymes and the Ethnography of Communication
Cynthia Gordon
Gumperz and Interactional Sociolinguistics
Christine Mallinson
Social Stratification
Anthea Irwin
Social Constructionism
Shari Kendall
Symbolic Interactionism, Erving Goffman, and Sociolinguistics
Robert Garot and Tim Berard
Ethnomethodology and Membership Categorization Analysis
José Antonio Flores Farfán and Anna Holzscheiter
The Power of Discourse and the Discourse of Power
Stef Slembrouck
Globalization Theory and Migration
Paul Kockelman
Semiotics Interpretants, Inference, and Intersubjectivity
Norma Mendoza-Denton
Individuals and Communities
Robin Dodsworth
Social Class
Eva Vetter
Social Network
Paul Kerswill
Sociolinguistic Approaches to Language Change: Phonology
Peter Trudgill
Social Structure, Language Contact and Language Change
Gregory R. Guy
Sociolinguistics and Formal Linguistics
Tore Kristiansen
Attitudes, Ideology and Awareness
Terttu Nevalainen
Historical Sociolinguistics
Walt Wolfram
Fieldwork Methods in Language Variation
Helga Kotthoff
Sociolinguistic Potentials of Face-to-Face Interaction
Florian Menz
Doctor-Patient Communication
Luisa Martín Rojo
Discourse and Schools
Susan Ehrlich
Courtroom Discourse
Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen and Diana Slade
Analysing Conversation
Alexandra Georgakopoulou
Narrative Analysis
Theodossia-Soula Pavlidou
Gender and Interaction
Brigitta Busch, Petra Pfisterer
Interaction and the Media
Mark Sebba
Societal Bilingualism
Peter Auer
Anne-Claude Berthoud and Georges Lüdi
Language Policy and Planning
Julia Sallabank
Language Endangerment
Alastair Pennycook
Global Englishes
Malcolm Coulthard, Tim Grant and Krzysztof Kredens
Forensic Linguistics
Constant Leung
Language Teaching and Language Assessment
Marlis Hellinger
Guidelines for Non-Discriminatory Language Use
Ingrid Piller and Kimie Takahashi
Language, Migration and Human Rights
David Barton and Carmen Lee
Literacy Studies

A superb volume that weaves together the complex threads of sociological theory, linguistic analysis and practical application that characterise this important and influential field. The contributions offer a range and depth of coverage that is not found elsewhere. Highly recommended for all serious students of the social dimensions of language
Ian Hutchby
Professor of Sociology, University of Leicester

The best, the most complete and the most integrated handbook of sociolinguistics of the past decade. It is a collection well worth having, returning to again and again and constantly keeping within easy reach for frequent reference on the part of students and faculty alike
Joshua A. Fishman
Emeritus Professor (Yeshiva University), NYU and Stanford University

Starting with the people, ideas and research that mark the genesis of sociolinguistics, this handbook takes us through its theoretical, methodological and empirical development over the last half century into the wide spectrum of work it now encompasses. It is a tough challenge to do justice to such breadth and depth in one publication, but the editors have succeeded in compiling an impressive, structured collection of chapters covering a well-chosen range of key topics in sociolinguistics, and expertly written by leading sociolinguists. This will be an important and rewarding book for all those studying the social aspects of language
Peter Garrett
Centre for Language and Communication Research, Cardiff University

This book is a treasure trove for sociolinguistic researchers and students alike. Edited by three leading sociolinguists, the 39 chapters cover a wealth of valuable material which includes accounts of the work of the founding figures of sociolinguistics, coverage of major theoretical approaches and sociolinguistic concepts, as well as consideration of some of the applications of sociolinguistics. And the cast list reads like a veritable Who's Who of sociolinguistics, with a refreshing number of younger scholars included along with more familiar, well-established names. The geographical spread is also good, with a number of sociolinguists from outside Europe and the USA, and sociolinguistic research which extends beyond the anglophone world...This is a book that I will reach for often, both for research and teaching purposes. I will recommend it to my postgraduate students, and many of the chapters will provide excellent material for discussion in our advanced undergraduate sociolinguistics course

Janet Holmes
Discourse Studies

The Sage Handbook of Sociolinguistics - edited by three well-known researchers in the field of sociolinguistics: Ruth Wodak, Barbara Johnstone and Paul Kerswill - is a comprehensive volume on the state of sociolinguistic research today... The intended audience appears to be higher-level students and researchers. The style of most of the papers was accessible and did not require too much background knowledge. Many of the papers were excellent introductions to a particular facet of sociolinguistic research... Papers from the volume would... make good supplementary reading at an undergraduate level, and the volume should be considered essential reading for any graduate student embarking on sociolinguistic research.
Louise de Beuzeville
Journal of Discourse and Communication

The SAGE volume stands out from its competitors with a series of chapters that are organized around the work of influential foundational scholars, namely chapters on Ferguson and Fishman (written by Spolsky), Labov (Hazen), Bernstein (Ivinson), Hymes (Johnstone and Marcellino), and Gumperz (Gordon). In addition, two chapters from the section on Sociolinguistics and Social Theory also focus on the work of one particular scholar, namely ‘Symbolic interactionism, Erving Goffman and sociolinguistics’ (Kendall) and ‘Ethnomethodology and Membership Categorization Analysis’ (Garot and Berard), which focuses on the work and influence of Harold Garfinkel. To readers in the field, these biographical chapters are especially useful where they explore and explain the respective scholar’s major contributions to sociolinguistic theory and place them in their historical and intellectual context.

Philipp Sebastian Angermeyer
Journal of Sociolinguistics

This is an important volume for those interested in sociolinguistics. I have only adopted it as supplemental because the students I teach do not go into sociolinguistics in depth, but I like to recommend it to them because of its coverage.

Dr Carol Rivas
Health Sciences, Southampton University
September 30, 2016

Interesting and thought provoking read - clear discussion points are highlighted throughout. A valuable text that I am sure I will be using with my students over and over again.

Ms Sarah Jane Cleak
College Rd, Truro College
March 17, 2016

'The SAGE Handbook of Sociolinguistics' needs to be considered as an obligatory title for any level of Sociolinguistics. It covers all the key features of the topic. I always keep it at my elbow.

Mr AQM Basher
English Language Center, Jazan University
April 29, 2014

Good coverage.

Professor Li Wei
Linguistics , Birkbeck College, University of London
January 13, 2014

Several chapters of this book will be essential for my future reference lists as well as the current one on the politics of language in the European Union!

Ms Roswitha Kersten-Pejanic
Department of Slavic studies, Humboldt University of Berlin
January 13, 2014

It is more than a "handbook" which shows the state-of-the-art of sociolinguistics. It is also amazing and surprising to see that many areas once studied in different sub-branches of linguistics (like pragmatics and discourse analysis) are included in this volume. As far as I could see, it is the most comprehensive book of sociolinguistics in the market. It is a must-read for anyone who is studying sociolinguistics.

Mr Murat Ozudogru
Department of Foreign Languages Teaching English Language Teaching Program, Maltepe University
December 15, 2013

Very comprehensive and reader friendly collection of major chapters and articles. Provides an excellent overview of the current approaches to sociolinguistics. The book is a good referencebook for students, suitable especially for reading groups.

Professor Minna-Riitta Luukka
Department of Languages, University of Jyvaskyla
May 19, 2013

The book is excellent in the sense that it is a full survey of the subject as a state-of-the-art. For undergraduate level in EFL environment, it would be advanced but for MA programmes in Linguistics and ELT, I think it will serve as a very important supplementary handbook.

Dr Abdullah Al-Saqqaf
Languages and Translation, Dhofar University
May 14, 2013

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