Volume 1: Perceptual dialectology investigates what ordinary people (as opposed to professional linguists) believe about the distribution of language varieties in their own and surrounding speech communities and how they have arrived at and implement those beliefs. It studies the beliefs of the common folk about which dialects exist and, indeed, about what attitudes they have to these varieties. Some of this leads to discussion of what they believe about language in general, or "folk linguistics". Surprising divergences from professional results can be found. For the professional, it is intriguing to find out why and whether the folk can be wrong or whether the professional has missed something. Volume 1 of this handbook aims to provide for the field of perceptual dialectology: * a historical survey; * a regional survey, adding to the earlier preponderance of studies in Japan, the Netherlands, and the United States; * a methodological survey, showing, in detail, how data have been acquired and processed; * an interpretive survey, showing how these data have been related to both linguistic and other socio-cultural facts; * a comprehensive bibliography.
The results and methods of perceptual dialectical studies should be interesting not only to linguists, variationists, dialectologists, and students of the social psychology of language but also to sociologists, anthropologists, folklorists, and other students of culture as well as to language planners and educators. Volume 2: The Handbook of Perceptual Dialectology, Volume II, expands on the coverage of both regions and methodologies in the investigation of nonlinguists' perceptions of language variety. New areas studied include Canada (anglophone and francophone), Cuba, Hungary, Italy, Korea, and Mali, and most prominent among the new approaches are studies of the salience of specific linguistic features in variety identification and assessment. As in Volume I, the reader will find in these chapters everything from the statistical treatment of the ratings of dialect attributes to studies of the actual discourses of nonlinguists discussing language variety.
Dialectologists, sociolinguistics, ethnographers, and applied linguists who work in areas where language variety is a concern will appreciate the findings and methods of these studies, but social scientists of every sort who want to understand the role of language in the cultural lives of ordinary people will also find much of interest here.show more