This book explores the phenomenon of language change, with a particular
focus on the social contexts of its occurrence and its possible
motivations, including speakers' intentions and attitudes.
Using wide-ranging case studies presenting new or little-known data, Jones
and Singh draw a distinction between 'unconscious' and 'deliberate' change.
The discussion on 'unconscious' change considers phenomena such as the
emergence and obsolescence of individual languages, while the book also
includes detailed discussion on 'deliberate' change, traditionally
marginalised in favour of explorations of the 'unconscious' variety. The
sections on 'deliberate' change focus on issues of language planning,
including the strategies of language revival and revitalisation movements,
and also include a detailed exploration of what is arguably the most
extreme instance of 'deliberate' change; language invention for real-world
As a student-friendly text which covers a wide variety of language
situations, it also makes a clear, but often ignored, distinction between
concepts such as language policy and planning, and language revival and
revitalisation, and the innovative case studies which permeate the text
demonstrate that real-life language use is often much more complex than
theoretical abstractions might suggest.
This book will be extremely useful to students on a variety of courses
including sociolinguistics, historical linguistics and language policy and