Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation (Language in Society)

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9780631222248: Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation (Language in Society)
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Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation presents a thorough and practical description of current sociolinguistic methodology while recognizing that methodological decisions can never be separated from questions of theory.


  • Presents a thorough and practical description of current sociolinguistic methodology.
  • Considers a range of issues including speaker selection, data collection, social considerations, phonological and syntactical variation, style-shifting and code-switching.
  • Recognizes that methodological decisions can never be separated from questions of theory.
  • Stresses the need for the entire research process from the initial design of the project to the interpretation of results to be grounded in theoretically defensible positions.
  • Shows how the research paradigm established by a few influential pioneers has been fruitfully expanded by exciting new trends.

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Book Description:

Questions of how to access and analyze actual language use are central to the study of language in its social context. Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation presents a thorough and practical description of current sociolinguistic methodology while recognizing that methodological decisions can never be separated from questions of theory. The result is a critical account that stresses the need for the entire research process, from the initial design of the project to the interpretation of results, to be grounded in theoretically defensible positions. Milroy and Gordon show how the research paradigm established by a few influential pioneers has been fruitfully expanded by new trends. Sociolinguistics considers issues of speaker selection and data collection; social dimensions of linguistic variation; syntactic and phonological variation; and style-shifting and code-switching. This book is a vital resource for helping readers design their research and evaluate the research of others.

About the Author:

Lesley Milroy is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan. She is the author of numerous books and articles, including Authority in Language (third edition, 1999) and Language and Social Networks (second edition, Blackwell 1987).

Matthew Gordon is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Missouri–Columbia. He is the author of Small-Town Values, Big-City Vowels: A Study of the Northern Cities Shift in Michigan (2001).

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9780631222255: Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation

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ISBN 10:  0631222251 ISBN 13:  9780631222255
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell, 2003
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