Professor Chambers′s book successfully combines a theoretical grounding in variationist sociolinguistics with generous descriptions of the research on which the theories are based. This makes it particularly inspiring for students who themselves want to try their hands at this field of study. Sociolinguistic theory: Linguistic variation and its social significance. By J CHAMBERS. The title on the front cover of the book simply reads Sociolinguistic theo From this, it might appear that it is a general book on sociolinguistics. Best wishes Margaret Author's Name: Chambers, J. K. Date of Publication: Book Title: Sociolinguistic Theory, 2nd ed. Publisher: Polity (imprint of Blackwell.


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Three central chapters are organized around the crucial social variables of social stratification, sex, and age.


The final chapter considers the social and cultural purposes of linguistic variation. The Domain of Sociolinguistics.

Class, Network and Mobility, Chapter 3: Expressing Sex and Gender, Chapter 4: Concerning sociolinguistic theory chambers shortage of other works dealing with sociolinguistic theory, Chambers writes that this may be due to the fact 'that the social science content of sociolinguistics had overshadowed its theoretical implications' TDescriptions of the studies used are a pleasure to read, being very clearly presented and well illustrated.

The adoption of a sociolinguistic theory chambers approach further identifies the book as a teaching aid or introduction, rather than purely as a reference work.

The story of sociolinguistics unfolds as we learn about the Observer's Paradox, the extent to which we should or should not make fine sub-class distinctions in our research, ways of interpreting differences between men's and women's speech, how to calculate network densities - and much more.


There is a drawback to this ordering, however, though it is one that affects only the more sociolinguistic theory chambers reader who may wonder when the latest findings will be included in the discussion.

In Chapter 2, for instance, when discussing cultural and biological foundations of differences between the speech of men and women, the reader who already knows a little cognitive linguistics may for many pages feel that an essential part of sociolinguistic theory chambers subject has been ignored, because it is only 35 pages into the chapter that neurological issues are at last mentioned.

Such a step-by-step building up towards our current state of knowledge is found in every section, leading to a perhaps unintentional emphasis on the questions and on the early attempts to answer them, rather than on the latest understanding of these issues.

Sociolinguistic Theory - J. K. Chambers - Google книги

The approach is consonant, too, with the generally teleological position taken throughout the book, particularly noticeable in the discussion of the significance of language variation in the last chapter, where we come across such assumptions as 'the fact that linguistic variation is universal and ubiquitous suggests sociolinguistic theory chambers that it is fulfilling some essential human need' But so very much is not mentioned.

This is a conscious decision of the writer, whose topic here is 'the social significance of language variation [which] is only one aspect of the discipline of sociolinguistics, broadly conceived' 1and who says that the book deals 'only with. Nevertheless, many readers may be disappointed by the exclusion of - not only individual works that they particularly sociolinguistic theory chambers but also - entire areas of related scholarship.

Pragmatics and Discourse Analysis get very short shrift a reference to Brown and Levinson and a fleeting mention of 'face', all on p.

In addition, corpus linguistics is making significant inroads into the very generalisability and universalising of results that Chambers discusses in his concluding chapter, and historical studies of language variation and change have been presenting the world with important sociolinguistic evidence that should be incorporated into mainstream sociolinguistic discussion.

Any sociolinguistic theory chambers of the difficulties of longitudinal studies, as on pagefor instance, would be enriched by reference to the quantities of real-time data available, and by comparisons of real- and apparent- time studies that are found in historical sociolinguistic studies.

sociolinguistic theory chambers


In addition, reference to a few historical studies could increase our familiarity with changes from below, sociolinguistic theory chambers remain somewhat under-represented in the literature as noted also by Labov, 3. Chambers himself admits that 'no other aspect of the discipline has proven as fruitful' as the study of 'the linguistic effects of time' The fact is that historical linguistics and most corpus linguistics deal with written data, and the tendency of mainstream sociolinguistics reflected in this book has been to concentrate on sociolinguistic theory chambers variables and what is called naturally occurring data which, to take the issue to its absurd extreme, seems to mean the language of people who are not aware that they are using language.

Sociolinguistic Theory, 3rd Edition

This has led to a certain marginalising of these other areas of study. It is nevertheless disappointing to see that they are marginalised out of this book.

It seems to me important to separate the process of standardisation sociolinguistic theory chambers one crucially involving attitudes towards language, which are never finalized Milroy and Milroy, 22and the standard variety, which may be seen as one dialect selected among others, with its own internal variations and changes.