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Deixis and Pragmatics  

William F. Hanks

Deictic expressions, like English ‘this, that, here, and there’ occur in all known human languages. They are typically used to individuate objects in the immediate context in which they ... More

Diglossia in North Africa  

Lotfi Sayahi

Online publication date:
Aug 2017
Diglossia refers to a situation where two linguistic varieties coexist within a given speech community. One variety, labeled the ‘high variety’, is used in formal domains including ... More

Endangered Languages  

Chris Rogers and Lyle Campbell

Online publication date:
Dec 2015
The reduction of the world’s linguistic diversity has accelerated over the last century and correlates to a loss of knowledge, collective and individual identity, and social value. Often a ... More

Language and Social Hierarchy in West Africa  

Judith T. Irvine

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
In the indigenous sociolinguistic systems of West Africa, an important way of expressing—and creating—social hierarchy in interaction is through intermediaries: third parties, through whom ... More

Languages of the World  

William R. Leben

Online publication date:
Feb 2018
About 7,000 languages are spoken around the world today. The actual number depends on where the line is drawn between language and dialect—an arbitrary decision, because languages are ... More

Pidgin Languages  

Mikael Parkvall

Pidgin languages sometimes form in contact situations where a means of communication is urgently needed between groups lacking a common code. They are typically less elaborate than any of ... More

Social Network Approach in African Sociolinguistics  

Klaus Beyer and Henning Schreiber

Online publication date:
Mar 2017
The Social Network Analysis approach (SNA), also known as sociometrics or actor-network analysis, investigates social structure on the basis of empirically recorded social ties between ... More

World Englishes  

Edgar W. Schneider

Online publication date:
Jan 2018
English clearly is the world’s most widely used language in the early 21st century: the language of formal and other interactions in very many countries, the main tool of globalization, ... More

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