An Introduction to Language and Society  book cover
1st Edition

An Introduction to Language and Society

ISBN 9780415382748
Published August 18, 2008 by Routledge
336 Pages

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Book Description

In this third edition of the bestselling classic textbook, Martin Montgomery explores the key connections between language and social life. Guiding the student through discussions on child language, accent and dialect, social class and gender, as well as a number of other topics, Montgomery provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the function of language in modern society.

This third edition includes:

  • new sections on dialect levelling and estuary English; hip-hop and rapping as anti-language and ‘crossing’ between Creole, Panjabi and South Asian English
  • new material on the Gulf War and the 'War on Terror'
  • discussions on language in internet usage and new technologies
  • updated examples and references.

With detailed suggestions for further reading and practical work for each chapter, An Introduction to Language and Society is the ideal resource for students and teachers of Communication Studies and Language Studies.

Table of Contents

Part 1: The Development of Language  1. The Beginnings of Language Development  2. Dialogue and Language Development  Part 2: Linguistic Diversity and the Speech Community  3. Language and Regional Variation: Accent and Dialect  4. Language and Ethnic Identity: British Black English  5. Language and Subcultures: Anti-Language  6. Language and Situation: Register  7. Language and Social Class: Restricted and Elaborated Speech Variants  8. Language and Gender  9. Linguistic Diversity and the Speech Community

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Martin Montgomery is director of the Programme on Literary Linguistics at the University of Strathclyde where he is also a member of the John Logie Baird Centre for film and television.


"This is an excellent, comprehensive examination of the field of language and
society...The writing is clear and concise; understandable for a novice student and
without unnecessary technical words. In addition, with the recently updated
information and examples in this edition (specifically hip-hop and rap language,
and material on the language of the 'war on terror') this could very well
provide new information to more advanced students. The author provides a fair
and balanced examination of many issues in the field of sociolinguistics."

--  Linguist List, June 2009

'... this book is very engaging, with fascinating in-depth examples.' - The Journal of Language and Society