Language and Society: An Introduction

ISBN : 9780190210663

Andrew Simpson
504 Pages
178 x 254 mm
Pub date
Mar 2019
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Language and Society is an introduction to the interaction of language and society, intended for undergraduate students in any discipline. The book focuses in particular the complex political and sociological roles of the world's dominant language groups and nationalized languages, and the rapid extinction of minority languages. As individuals adopt new ways of speaking, many languages are disappearing, while others are evolving into hybrid languages with distinctive new forms, with young speakers creating novel expressions and innovative pronunciations. Through a variety of case studies, Andrew Simpson explains language variation and change, and how they relate to societal structures, group expression, and identity. Above all, he shows that language has the power to facilitate or inhibit access to education, advances in employment, and the development of social status.


Chapter 1: Languages and Dialects
Chapter 2: Languages with Special Roles/functions: National and Official Languages
Chapter 3: Languages Under Pressure: Minority Groups and Language Loss
Chapter 4: Diglossia and Code-Switching
Chapter 5: Pidgins and Creoles: The Birth and Development of New Languages
Chapter 6: The Globalization of English
Chapter 7: Language(s) in the USA
Chapter 8: Bilingualism
Chapter 9: Language and Thought: The Linguistic Relativity Controversy
Chapter 10: Language and Gender
Chapter 11: Language Variation and Change
Subject Index

About the author: 

Andrew Simpson is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Southern California. He is the editor of Language and National Identity in Asia (Oxford University Press, 2007), Language and National Identity in Africa (Oxford University Press, 2008), and the author of many articles in linguistic journals on aspects of the languages of South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. He is also joint general editor of the Journal of East Asian Linguistics.

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