Since the publication of the first edition of the handbook
Sociolinguistics, the then young discipline has changed and developed
considerably. The field has left behind its status as an interdiscipline
between sociology and linguistics and is now a worldwide established field.
Sociolinguistics continues to contribute to solving practical problems in
areas such as language planning and standardization, language policy, as
well as in language didactics and speech therapy.
Moreover, new topics and areas of application have arisen from the autonomy
of the discipline - these have been systematically and extensively included
in the second edition of the handbook. The new overall concept depicts the
regional and disciplinary representativity of sociolinguistic research
while offering an encyclopedia-like useability for all its readers. This
includes theoretical depth and stringency for readers interested in theory,
as well as methodical abundance and detail for empirical researchers.
The descriptions of methods are often so informative and precise that they
can be directly used in the preparation of project planning. Similarly, the
descriptions in the practice-oriented articles are so precise that users
can accurately assess to what extent they can expect a certain
sociolinguistic approach to help solve their problems. With an extensive
description as its goal, the second edition of the handbook
Sociolinguistics takes into account the current standing of the discipline
and the modified structure of the field.