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Being a relatively new discipline, Sociolinguistics continues to mean different things to different people.
In Southern Africa it has also tended to be “all things to all people”.
The book tries to clarify and simplify the fundamental aspects of Sociolinguistics as a relevant academic discipline.
As much as possible, the book also tries not to be vague and/or abstract.
In short, as a course or sketch, this introduces the basic design features of language use, progressing from the micro to the more macro aspects of "language AND society" in Southern Africa, as a glance at the list of contents should show.
The underlying assumption of the course is that Sociolinguistics is really about linguistic variation or diversity, aspects of which can be elaborated under a wide variety of topics and/or courses and/or research projects.
It also directly and implicitly refers to the problem of discreteness and continuity.
The book lays no claim to originality because there is nothing new under the sun.
Kumbirai G Mkanganwi, BA MPhil (London): Studied linguistics at the United Kingdom Universities of London and York.
Has been teaching linguistics at the University of Zimbabwe since 1975, and at the University of Southern Illinois at Edwardsville (SIUE) as a Fulbright Scholar-in-Residence (1994-5).
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