Editor's Note: This is a new edition of a previously announced book.
Great strides have been made in recent years in our understanding of the relationship between language and society when we introduce a consideration of its historical dimension.
The Handbook of Historical Sociolinguistics reflects our current state of knowledge in this rapidly expanding interdisciplinary field of study. The collection represents an up-to-date, in-depth exploration of the extent to which sociolinguistic theoretical models, methods, findings, and expertise can be applied to the process of reconstructing a language's past in order to account for diachronic linguistic changes and developments.
Organized into five distinct sections, essays address various topics in origins and theoretical assumptions; methods for the sociolinguistic study of the history of languages; linguistic and extra-linguistic variables; historical dialectology, language contact and diffusion; and attitudes to language. Written by an international team of leading scholars, this groundbreaking collection of readings provides an important contribution to linguistic theory that reflects current knowledge of the nature of language change and diffusion while paving the way for future research.