Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics

Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics

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This is the ninth in the acclaimed series of spinoff volumes based on the outstanding Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. It comprises 285 articles of which 80 are short biographical entries. 50 of the biographies and 42 other articles are entirely new, while the remaining entries are suitably revised and updated from ELL. This work provides uniquely comprehensive and authoritative information on all aspects of sociolinguistics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 1060 pages
  • 192 x 250 x 50mm | 2,218.06g
  • Pergamon Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • maps
  • 0080437265
  • 9780080437262

Review quote

Bill Bright, ex editor, Language in Society
Mesthrie's outline is well thought out, and he is a sound scholar. ... a volume that meets high scholarly standards, and will be of great usefulness to readers seeking a reference book in sociolinguistics.

Suzanne Romaine, University of Oxford
From 'accent' to 'vernacular', the Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics covers key areas of concern in this fascinating and growing field. Mesthrie has assembled a team of leading experts to author entries organized around the main themes of the discipline: Variation and Change, Culture, Power and Ideology, Language Contact, Social Interaction, Research Methods, and Applications of Sociolinguistics. A guide to institutions and resources, including a critical survey of journals and profiles of some of the sociolinguists who have shaped the discipline, rounds out the volume. Beginners and experts alike will find it an indispensable foundation.

William Labov, University of Pennsylvania
Here is the broad and comprehensive view of sociolinguistics that will satisfy the most curious and inquiring mind. The technical topics are covered with solid competence, while the general issues are reviewed with a rewarding thoughtfulness. The editor is to be congratulated!

Patricia Donaher, Missouri Western State College
My first reaction upon skimming the text was "WOW!," a reaction that has not diminished with further acquaintance?.. The "Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics" is an impressive volume and its Editor, Rajend Mesthrie, has provided both the general reader of linguistics and the serious researcher a well written, well researched overview of this subfield of linguistics. Read this review at

Lisa DeWaard Dykstra, University of Iowa
The papers by Fretheim, Rozina and Vasko are to be commended for their excellent readability and clear exposition. Read this review at

Patricia Donaher, Missouri Western State College
I was most appreciative of the straight forward language and clear approach employed by of most of the authors. I was impressed by the depth of the articles, even the shorter ones. Each entry provides the researcher with virtually all the necessary background information on the topic and appropriate references for further information. Many of the longer entries include a thorough summary of the current research on the topic as well, and some entries provide helpful sections on where future research could or should go. Read this review at

Miriam Meyerhoff, University of Edinburgh
..a work that claims to be a 'concise encyclopedia' seems to me to almost set itself a higher standard than that of an 'encyclopedia'. Both an 'encyclopedia' and a 'concise encyclopedia' make an implicit claim to exhaustiveness, but a concise encyclopedia seems to further imply that what has been whittled away leaves the user with the essential core of the subject. This is a bold claim, but one that I think Mesthrie can proudly claim to have achieved....CES authoritatively links sociolinguistics with sociology, anthropology, social psychology, pragmatics and education. Overall, the collection of articles gives a generous, broad-minded view of the field.
Journal of Sociolinguistics
Robert Bayley, University of Texas, USA
The vitality of sociolinguistics as a field...has led to the need for a volume such as Mesthrie's substantial encyclopedia...Mesthrie has performed an important service to sociolinguistics by bringing together a wide range of scholars who cover their topics with great clarity...the editor is to be commended for including both classic statements on various topics as well as articles that challenge some of the classic formulations of the excellent overview of the fundamental concerns of sociolinguistics as well as multiple perspectives on those issues.
Language Policy
Dan Beckett, Georgetown University, USA
Taken as a whole, the encyclopedia is a very useful product, offering both detailed summaries of specific sociolinguistic subject matter and more general summaries of larger concepts....CESO should be a good resource for researchers in the coming years.
Language in Society
John Lipski
Although not a volume designed with the language teacher or language acquisition teacher in mind, this encyclopedia is vital to all scholars and teachers whose subject area includes the interaction of language and society ... libraries and research centers will do well to acquire this valuable reference tool.
Modern Language Journal, Vol 87, No. 4
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Table of contents

Section headings: Foundations of society and language. Language and interaction. Language Variation: style, situation, function. Language variation and change: dialects and social groups. Language contact. Language, power and inequality. Language planning, policy, practice. Language and education. Methods in sociolinguistics. The profession.
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