An Introduction to English Sociolinguistics

Article excerpt

An Introduction to English Sociolinguistics

Graeme Trousdale

Edinburgh University Press, 2010, 16.99 [pounds sterling]

ISBN 9780748623259

All About language

Barry Blake

Oxford University Press, 2009, 14.99 [pounds sterling]

ISBN 978-0199238408

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[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

From time to time the EDM editor sends me books offering an introduction to language study written primarily for undergraduates, with publishers identifying the inevitable overlap market for the much larger group of students following courses in GCE level English Language. More recently some books have come badged with the claim they are written by real university linguists, with implications for those that are not, and as if that differently expert audience would know the better the nature of what it is students know, understand and do in order to obtain a general certificate of education in schools and colleges rather than a module in an undergraduate degree. The two books reviewed here provide introductions to Linguistics, and to Sociolinguistics, written primarily for undergraduate audiences.

All About Language gives an attractively designed, informative and congenially readable overview of what its blurb terms 'basic linguistic ideas and debates'. Based on Barry Blake's course notes and experience of teaching Linguistics in universities for over four decades, it includes thought provoking examples from several languages. The coverage is representative of such approaches to general linguistics with sections on language structures and description, syntax and discourse, speech and writing, language variation and change, language and cognition and the origin of language. …

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