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date: 27 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides an overview of the genesis and theoretical development of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. For the nineteenth century, the focus is on Humboldt, Whitney, and Schuchardt as well as early dialectological work. The argument then turns to the early twentieth century and considers Boas and Sapir in North America, as well as Bakhtin and Voloshinov in Russia. The paper concludes with the consolidation of socio-cultural linguistics in the 1960s, and three main approaches are discussed in detail: the sociology of language, variationist sociolinguistics, and the ethnography of communication.

Keywords: sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, sociology of language, dialectology and variationism, language contact

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