Sociolinguistics

Authored by: Jan Blommaert

The Routledge Companion to English Studies

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415676182
eBook ISBN: 9781315852515
Adobe ISBN: 9781317918929

10.4324/9781315852515.ch9

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Abstract

Like every disciplinary label, “sociolinguistics” covers a tremendous variety of approaches. In some corners of sociolinguistics, it looks as though very little has happened for the past couple of decades; in others, however, new developments are emerging at a speed defying that of publishing, causing people to download working papers and circulate PowerPoint presentations rather than finished work. In this contribution, I shall focus on the latter rather than on the former. What sociolinguistics has to offer to English studies will be defined by new developments, not by older ones. The new developments challenge the study of language at a fundamental level; the questions they raise cannot be avoided.

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