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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."


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Review of  The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics


Reviewer: Pablo - Pintado-Casas
Book Title: The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics
Book Author: Robert Bayley Richard Cameron Ceil Lucas
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Anthropological Linguistics
Language Acquisition
Issue Number: 28.2082

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Review:
Reviews Editor: Helen Aristar-Dry

SUMMARY

The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics is an in-depth study of the relationship between language and society. The book contains forty chapters grouped into six sections. The first section is dedicated to the foundations of Sociolinguistics from a disciplinary perspective, including Linguistic Anthropology, Critical Discourse Analysis, Conversation Analysis, and other Psycholinguistics approaches. The second part is devoted to the study of various methodologies and approaches, such as quantitative and qualitative analysis of social interaction, longitudinal studies, and a most valuable section of methods for the study of sign language. In the third section, Bilingualism and Language Contact, the topics discussed range from pidgins and creoles, language maintenance and shift, second language acquisition, to code switching and sign language contact. The six articles included in the fourth part consider linguistic variations and change from a phonetic, morphological, syntactic and pragmatic perspective. The fifth section cover current linguistic trends pertaining to language policy, language ideology and language attitudes in Africa, English-dominant countries, Greater China, South Asia, Western Europe, the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, the Post-Soviet Countries, and Latin America. As with all previous, the final article considers the role of sign language within the realm of Sociolinguistics. Finally, the last section of the Oxford Handbook sheds light on the field of Sociolinguistics from a professional and public interest standpoint, by examining relevant modern-day topics such as language and law, medicine, social justice and activism, ecological diversity, and language awareness from a community perspective.

EVALUATION

This latest handbook is carefully organized and covers a very broad range of relevant topics. Perhaps most noteworthy are the in-depth studies on multilingualism, language contact, language variation, language revitalization, sign language, and the final chapter on the relationship between sociolinguistics and social activism. The articles have been meticulously edited and include useful references for further reading. It is also important to mention that throughout the text, numerous examples are taken from a variety of world languages, thus establishing multi linguistic and cross-cultural comparisons. The handbook includes the contributions of forty-seven distinguished scholars whose areas of expertise include Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Applied Linguistics, English, Hispanic and Slavic Linguistics. Beyond these fields, many contributors in the field of Anthropology, Sociology, Criminology, Medicine and Geriatrics collaborated by providing highly qualified knowledge in their respective disciplines, thus offering a rich array of different perspectives and viewpoints. The volume includes thirty-nine tables and fifty-one figures that serve to clearly illustrate concepts, terminology, and data pertaining to complex socio-linguistics matters that may otherwise be difficult to understand by the reader. I consider the The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics to be an invaluable new contribution to the field of sociolinguistics, as it presents the interdisciplinary development of this field over the past decades. While it certainly stands out for its careful organization of abundant material, it must be especially praised for the special attention given to relevant topics that pertain to modern-day social preoccupations. In this sense, it will no doubt inspire those in the field to further their research. In a classroom setting, it would serve as an engaging academic tool for an overall introduction to the growing field of sociolinguistics. In sum, this handbook is a unique and welcomed addition to the Oxford Handbook collection, which already include studies in the areas of Applied Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Comparative Syntax, Compositionality, Language Evolution, Linguistic Analysis, Linguistic Minimalism, Translation Studies, and Linguistic Typology.
 
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Dr. Pablo Pintado-Casas teaches at the School for Global Education & Innovation/World Languages-Spanish at Kean University (Union, New Jersey). He teaches undergraduate courses in Syntax, Morphology, Phonetics, and Applied Linguistics; also, he taught several graduate courses on History of Spanish language, Hispanic Bilingualism, Socio-Linguistics, Spanish in America, Comparative Romance Languages. His main research interests focuses on Semantics, and the problem of the meaning of sentences based on the concept of “situation”.

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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780190233747
Pages: 914
Prices: U.K. £ 35.99