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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Discovering Sociolinguistics

From Theory to Practice

ISBN 9781137519078
Publication Date October 2017
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave

Discovering Sociolinguistics introduces readers to the field of Sociolinguistics and hands them the tools to start their own sociolinguistic research project. The first two parts of the book present this broad field and the second two parts lay out the practicalities and steps needed to do actual sociolinguistic investigations. The book is introductory in nature and covers the common core of topics and theories in the field. It gives much attention to cultural variation and examples from across the world. 

Dick Smakman is a lecturer in sociolinguistics and language acquisition at Leiden University, the Netherlands. 


1. Early Sociolinguistics

The birth of a field

2. Sociolinguistics today

The modern study of language in a social space

3. The good language

Language norms and ideology

4. Language variation

The various shapes of language

5. The language of culture

Practices and belief systems as sociolinguistic variables



6. Speaker fate and choices

The individual in a sociolinguistic space

7. The language of a lifetime

Age and time as sociolinguistic factors

8. Being a woman or a man

Gender as a sociolinguistic variable

9. The people’s language

Folk Linguistics & Perceptual Dialectology

10. What say you?

Attitudes about language

11. Second Language Sociolinguistics

Linguistic choices by learners

12. The more equal language

Language and status across the globe



<13. Ready, set, research

Steps towards a sociolinguistic research project

14. Crunching numbers

Introducing statistics

15. The sounds of language

Introducing Phonetics from a Sociolinguistic point of view

16. Write it down

Introducing the sociolinguistic research report



17. Language out there

Investigating naturally occurring language

18. Speak to me

Investigating elicited language

19. While you were speaking

Investigating ongoing communication

20. Don’t get me started

Investigating attitudes and perceptions


“Dick Smakman has been a champion in the movement of globalizing sociolinguistics. With this textbook he brings the movement to the student populations of the world. Among the textbooks of sociolinguistics in English, Discovering Sociolinguistics is, thus far, the best effort in transcending the cultural barriers associated with language.” (Daming Xu, University of Macau)
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