Globalising Sociolinguistics: Challenging and Expanding Theory, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Globalising Sociolinguistics

Challenging and Expanding Theory, 1st Edition

Edited by Dick Smakman, Patrick Heinrich


276 pages

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This book challenges the predominance of mainstream sociolinguistic theories by focusing on lesser known sociolinguistic systems, from regions of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, South America, the European Mediterranean, and Slavic regions as well as specific speech communities such as those speaking Nivkh, Jamaican Creole, North Saami, and Central Yup’ik.

In nineteen chapters, the specialist authors look at key sociolinguistic aspects of each region or speech community, such as gender, politeness strategies, speech patterns and the effects of social hierarchy on language, concentrating on the differences from mainstream models. The volume, introduced by Miriam Meyerhoff, has been written by the leading expert of each specific region or community and includes contributions by Rajend Mesthrie, Marc Greenberg and Daming Xu. This publication draws together connections across regions/communities and considers how mainstream sociolinguistics is incomplete or lacking. It reveals how lesser-known cultures can play an important role in the building of theory in sociolinguistics.

Globalising Sociolinguistics is essential reading for any researcher in sociolinguistics and language variation and will be a key reference for advanced sociolinguistics courses.


"This is an exciting and novel attempt to revise contemporary work in sociolinguistics by asking for local rather than global Western views of the situation in various parts of the world. It does this without ignoring the existence of current scholarship, but adds important new perspectives that come from the addition of local expertise. As a result, it will no doubt enrich our understanding of a complex and important field." Bernard Spolsky, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

"A healthy corrective for virtually anyone working in the field… readers will surely discover research that is new to them, relevant to what they do, and intellectually engaging and rewarding." Gerard van Herk, MUN, Canada, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Northern Africa 3. Western Africa 4. Eastern Africa 5. Southern Africa 6. Caucasus 7. Southern Asia 8. South-Eastern Asia 9. China 10. Japan 11. South America 12. European Mediterranean 13. Slavic Area 14. Caribbean 15. Caribbean Community 16. Alaska Community 17. The Highlands and Islands 18. North Sami Community 19. Nivkh Community 20. New Guinea Community 21. Conclusion

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics