A vivid commentary on Jewish survival and Jewish speech communities that will be enjoyed by the general reader, and is essential reading for students and researchers interested in the study of Middle Eastern languages, Jewish studies, and sociolinguistics.
Synchronic sociolinguistics has been particularly convincing in its use of
quantitative models to demonstrates how ‘the present might explain the
past’. However, the relevance of sociolinguistics to historical linguistics
‘using the past to explain the present’, has been largely ignored. In this
volume Dr. Romaine lays the foundation for a field of research encompassing
both historical linguistics and sociolinguistics, which aims to investigate
and account for language variation within a particular speech community
over time. The socio-historical approach is illustrated here by a detailed
analysis of the development of relative clause formation strategies in
Middle Scots. This case study raises fundamental questions about the
epistemological status of sociolinguistic theory and in particular its
claims to an empirical foundation. Her own preliminary suggestions for a
truly integrative sociolinguistic theory will be of interest to
sociolinguists, historical linguists and general linguists.