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Dialect Matters
Respecting Vernacular Language


  • Date Published: August 2016
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107130470

£ 48.99

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About the Authors
  • Based on Peter Trudgill's weekly column in the Eastern Daily Press newspaper, this book has two overall messages. The first is that language is a fascinating and enjoyable phenomenon which not enough people know enough about. The second is that we should not discriminate negatively against individuals and groups because of their accent, dialect or native language. Linguistic prejudice, known as 'linguicism', is more publicly and shamelessly demonstrated than racism and sexism, as is 'prescriptivism', the practice of elevating one language or language variety as 'better' than another. Written in an entertaining and accessible style, Trudgill's columns support the language of ordinary people and explore topics such as nonstandard versus standard dialects; vernacular (everyday) language as opposed to politically correct language; informal vocabulary as opposed to business-school jargon; and minority versus majority languages. Each article is also accompanied by notes designed for students and those unfamiliar with the East Anglian setting.

    • Written in an entertaining and accessible style, this book will appeal to a wide audience
    • Focuses on combating prejudice against nonstandard dialects, low-status accents and minority languages
    • Articles are accompanied by notes designed for students across a range of linguistics subjects
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'We have here a fine resource for students and for the interested general reader. Trudgill's explorations of vernacular language and his critique of 'linguicism' are erudite, socially relevant, and accessible.' Lesley Milroy, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of Michigan

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2016
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107130470
    • length: 246 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 157 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.51kg
    • contains: 8 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. History: how things came to be this way
    2. Prescriptivism and other useless pastimes
    3. Language change: observing and accepting it
    4. What is happening to words
    5. Languages and dialects in contact and conflict
    6. Respecting English grammar
    7. Respecting ordinary language
    8. Sounds and fury
    9. Respecting local speech
    10. Grammar: the wonder of it all
    11. More about words
    12. Origins
    13. Accent rules
    14. Respecting names.

  • Author

    Peter Trudgill, Universitet i Agder, Norway
    Peter Trudgill is a theoretical dialectologist and sociolinguist who has held professorships at the Universities of Reading, Essex, Lausanne, and Fribourg. He is currently Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway, and Honorary Professor of Sociolinguistics at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK. He is a Fellow of the British Academy, and has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Uppsala, Sweden; the University of East Anglia; and La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He has authored and edited more than forty books, including Sociolinguistics: An Introduction; Dialects in Contact; New-Dialect Formation: The Inevitability of Colonial Englishes; Investigations in Sociohistorical Linguistics: Stories of Colonisation and Contact (Cambridge, 2010); and Sociolinguistic Typology: Social Determinants of Linguistic Complexity.

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