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Journal of Sociolinguistics 12/4, 2008: 532–545

Studying language, culture, and society: Sociolinguistics or linguistic anthropology?1
John J. Gumperz and Jenny Cook-Gumperz
University of California, Berkeley and University of California, Santa Barbara

INTRODUCTION
As the papers in this issue show, the study of language, culture, and society has, and always will have, multiple disciplinary roots. In this commentary, we argue that what we may now regard as two traditions, sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, are in fact historically interrelated approaches. This raises the question as to whether we should really draw a distinction between the two at all. We begin by considering why sociolinguistics, as a field of enquiry, came to be seen as separate from the broader fields of anthropological linguistics and formal linguistics. As Dell Hymes (1972: 35) comments in Directions in Sociolinguistics (Gumperz and Hymes 1972), ‘to claim that sociolinguistics is a distinct field is to suggest that there are both problems and types of linguistic data that have not been studied before.’ Hymes’s statement, published at the beginning of the 1970s, argues that staking out a newly designated disciplinary emphasis does not mean that linguistics is theoretically lacking, but rather that there are problem areas and sets of issues that previous methods of analysis overlooked. While linguistic anthropology can trace its origins back nearly a century, owing its pedigree to the much earlier anthropological linguistics and fieldwork traditions, sociolinguistics can be seen as a recent development with a relatively short history – and what is more, one that is a lived history for many of us still working in the field, with all the individual variations of emphasis that this implies. Let us therefore start with a personal account, originally presented at the 2006 Sociolinguistics Symposium meeting, where most of the papers in this special issue were first presented, to place some of the intellectual issues in context. We then go on to unravel the strands that influenced the development of sociolinguistics and to explore the long-term history of the relationship between sociolinguistics and what we now call linguistic anthropology.

C The authors 2008 Journal compilation C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2008 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DQ, UK, and 350 Main Street, Malden MA 02148, USA

My findings showed that a new set of variants had been constructed over the hundred or so years of coresidence. Theoretical linguistics in those pre-Chomskyan times was still largely concerned with language description and structural grammar within university settings. sociology. combining structural analysis with survey data. with a faculty of what we would now call functional linguists concerned with structuralist theory and language pedagogy. The thrust of this work was interdisciplinary development studies. The Institute was financed by a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for the training of young South Asian linguists in modern linguistics. and while from today’s perspective this exercise might be questioned as Anglocentric hegemony. for Cornell’s linguists the project served to bring us out of the university into close daily contact with anthropologists and others working on social problems in the field and applying our knowledge to the solution of real-life issues. Rather than concentrating on the isolation of dialect differences as such. AND SOCIETY 533 JOHN GUMPERZ: A PERSONAL ACCOUNT My Ph. and in-depth interviewing. My faculty colleagues in Pune included many major Indian linguists who were familiar with their own traditions both from the deep historical roots of language study in India. informal conversations with local residents. degree was in Germanic linguistics. I relied on anthropological fieldwork techniques of participant-observation. CULTURE. however. my dissertation dealt with the dialect of a community made up for the most part by descendants of nineteenth-century German immigrants to rural Michigan.LANGUAGE. I also served as a faculty member in the newly established Linguistic Institute of South Asia at Deccan College in Pune. These methods allowed me to determine the ways in which the then-current networks of interpersonal relationships overrode the patterning of linguistic variants that I would have expected if I had relied on dialect histories alone. Apart from that project. but my graduate training included anthropological fieldwork experience. 2008 . My first professional position was as a postdoctoral fellow in the newly established division of modern languages at Cornell University.D. My fieldwork as a member of the Cornell University research team focused on North Indian villagers and the regional dialect of Hindi they used among themselves. Cornell had a Ford Foundation grant to undertake comparative area research combining field-based linguistics with anthropology. Following the traditions of dialectology then prevalent in some Germanic linguistics departments. grounded in Panini’s Sanskrit C The authors 2008 Journal compilation C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. which reflected religious affiliation and friendship patterns in the new homeland rather than conditions in the country of origin. India. I found myself taking an approach quite similar to that of my dissertation fieldwork. political science. and economics.

first by the Association for Asian Studies. and the more recent British functional linguistics of J. and • the interaction of sociolinguistics with sociology. under that name. and later by the Social Science Research Council. 2008 . This work soon received national attention. Research emerging from that collaboration was published as a special issue of the International Journal of American Linguistics titled ‘Linguistic Diversity in South Asia’ (Ferguson and Gumperz 1960). with articles by scholars associated with the Deccan College Institute. • the development of the ethnography of communication from anthropological linguistics. William Labov (personal communication) was the first to recognize the significance of the Indian research for sociolinguistics when he commented that the special issue was the first set of studies that centered on sociolinguistic issues. contribution of this work to the development of sociolinguistics was in bringing together interdisciplinary groups of scholars studying related issues of socioeconomic development. and society: • the relationship between dialectology and sociolinguistics. For me this meant an exposure to new ways of looking at language outside of the American tradition and outside of the usual academic disciplinary divisions to focus instead on a joint field-based enterprise. Journal compilation C C The authors 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.534 GUMPERZ AND COOK-GUMPERZ grammars. In the 1960s the latter organized the Committee on Sociolinguistics with a membership drawn largely from the earlier AAS committee. It was here that sociolinguistics. despite apparent academic divisions. these areas of research shared a theoretical view of the local community as the site of language use and a methodological commitment to using fieldwork as the best way to obtain information about such language use. culture. began its (inter)disciplinary life. The more immediate U. each from their own disciplinary perspective. Firth at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. sociolinguistic and anthropological research were closely related. Despite their differences. UNRAVELLING THE STRANDS This account shows that the strands of intellectual influence that underlie the development of early sociolinguistics were intertwined from the very beginning. which set up a committee on South Asian languages in the 1950s. R.S. thus building up a new disciplinary focus out of an overlapping set of academic interests and friendship groupings (Murray 1998). We develop this point by considering three points of disciplinary boundary crossing in early research on language.

argues that the early tradition of detailed work with local communities and networks was essential. In her article. this concern with community-based research continues to foster theoretical advances in contemporary variationist sociolinguistics. by extension. Moreover. variationist sociolinguistics gradually emerged as a major force in shaping U. a closer look at the dialectological inheritance of sociolinguistics shows that many dialectologists paid close attention to the empirical patterning of everyday talk. This fieldwork tradition remains an important legacy of dialectology to contemporary sociolinguistics. regions. they relied on field-based methodologies that allowed them to examine the linguistic contours of local communities. As Penelope Eckert comments. relying on his knowledge of Swiss dialectology. which integrates the quantitative techniques of large-scale sociological surveys into dialectological analysis. 2008 . social dialectology in the first half of the twentieth century went further in establishing patterns of sound change that could document population shifts. Eckert. Despite some criticisms of gender bias and of theoretical inadequacies affecting the early work (e. This insight owes a debt to the tradition of fieldwork from dialectology. AND SOCIETY 535 Dialectology’s contribution to sociolinguistics In the years after the publication of William Labov’s (1966) The Social Stratification of English in New York City. the historical validity of local communities (e. For example. Labov’s classic early work in Martha’s Vineyard (1963) as well as his initial New York City research (1966) were greatly influenced by his studies with Weinreich. European dialectology focused on the borders and differentiations between communities. she provides multiple illustrations of how the patterned indexical values of linguistic variables can only be understood from the perspective of local communities. Developing out of nineteenth-century concerns with the emerging sense of nationhood throughout Europe and the role of local traditions in establishing communities. g. ‘Labov makes it clear that local identity is not simply defined spatially or in a socially abstract sense but in the interaction between place and the human life that unfolds there’ (2000: 22). Through field research. turned away from purely descriptive approaches to focus on the effects of bilingual and multilingual contact on the structure of constituent languages. and populations. Gauchat 1905). this work sought to document the origins of dialects and therefore.LANGUAGE. as Eckert’s own contribution to this special issue demonstrates. Cameron 1992). S. He was able to incorporate some of the insights of this fieldwork tradition into his notion of style shifting in everyday talk and his development of a linguistically comprehensive basis for statistical analysis. CULTURE. In other words. Using similar methods. sociolinguistic research. C The authors 2008 Journal compilation C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. in reviewing Labov’s intellectual contribution. Uriel Weinreich’s (1953) research. In doing so. g. and thus changes in language practices.

and society that the ethnography of communication was developed. events are also valorized entities that frequently enter into public-sphere discussions. structural linguists had worked in two areas: the grammar of hitherto unwritten or undocumented languages such as American Indian and African languages.536 GUMPERZ AND COOK-GUMPERZ From anthropological linguistics to the ethnography of communication While the European dialectological tradition established fieldwork as an important sociolinguistic methodology as early as the nineteenth century. which was later extended to a broader notion of an ‘ethnography of communication. tradition of field-based studies of language. Until this time.’ Building on his and others’ writings beginning in the 1960s (Gumperz and Hymes 1964. Bauman and Sherzer 1974. and magical C The authors 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. other disciplines also contributed to this approach. The ethnography of communication laid out an initial program of comparative research on language use that combined ethnographic fieldwork with linguistic analysis. and what social norms governed participation. Examples of speech events typically described in the literature of the time are ritual performances. and issues of translation into little-known languages for missionary purposes. 2008 Journal compilation C . the United States maintained an area of linguistic study that was motivated by anthropological concerns with cultural difference and required extensive fieldbased studies in the tradition of Boas. g. Hymes 1981). Duranti 1994). this new perspective focused on how language functioned in ethnographically documented speech events. such as commentary about the performances in speech making and political rhetoric (e. The early writings in the ethnography of communication stimulated a great deal of comparative ethnographic research in various parts of the world on the relevant underlying cultural assumptions and structures of speech events. Sapir. It is as an heir to this U. Thus anthropologists can study how culture works by observing or participating in a range of culturally distinct speech events. Events are taken to be units of analysis in terms of which interpretive practices can be examined in detail. The ethnography of communication provided the insight that culture is essentially a communicative phenomenon. what topics could be discussed. Roman Jakobson’s (1960) notion of ‘speech event’ was adopted as an intermediate level of analysis that provides access to the interpretive process motivating participants’ actions. Hymes 1964. rather than on relations between community-wide cultural norms and linguistic structures abstracted from talk. ceremonies. among others.The move from communities to events as the principal basis of analysis thus shifts the focus to actual talk and performance. such as the studies of Kenneth Pike (1971 [1947]) and Eugene Nida (1975). such as who could participate. Gumperz 1971). 1972. At the same time. and Kroeber. Throughout the twentieth century. S. culture. constituted through talk. Hymes’s initial work on the interpretive analysis of Native American myth used his concept of ‘ethnography of speaking’ as an analytic construct (cf.

Later. The sociological roots of sociolinguistics in an era of social reconstruction Finally. and patterns of repair – are based on local interpretive repertoires. Later on. Many sociological studies in this post-war period focused on problemdriven issues such as the revitalization of communities as a consequence of migration to the industrialized regions. as well as urban minority speech events and routines (Bauman and Sherzer 1974). So far. linguistic anthropologists relied on ethnographic observations to reveal the cultural assumptions that underlie interpretation. As Tony Judt (2005) points out in his monumental study Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945. as more empirical data became available. most researchers were concerned with specifying what such implicit knowledge is. achievement of greater equity through C The authors 2008 Journal compilation C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. however. but not on how it enters into interpretation. In this special issue. This later approach has become known as interactional sociolinguistics (Gumperz 1982. This strand emerged from social problems that developed in the rapid societal changes following World War II. another approach emerged that. the interactional manifestation of language ideologies. The basic insight here is that although research must be rooted in fieldwork in local communities. AND SOCIETY 537 rites such as are found in small. traditional. the twin tensions of the forty years that followed the Second World War revolved around two main concerns: the need to reconstruct and strengthen a physically damaged society and the need to bring about social change in order to combat a competing ideology of social values.which may range as widely as the negotiation of ethnoracial labels. work began to focus on the in-depth interpretive examination of the discourse that constitutes the speech event. but takes a broader view of language as communicating both content and metapragmatic or indexical information about content. ethnomethodologists and conversation analysts used close analysis of talk to understand interaction from the point of view of its participants. raised different intellectual issues from those surveyed above. 2001). traditional analysts’ community-level cultural categories do not demonstrably reflect what motivates or accounts for speakers’ action in everyday encounters. the population movement and economic recovery brought about by World War II gave a greater sense of urgency to the need to understand the changing American urban scene. like conversation analysis. sociolinguistics began to address this problem. Somewhat later. there is a third strand to early sociolinguistics that. Apart from the German population movements. focuses directly on the organization of speech exchanges. CULTURE. largely face-to-face societies. while still focused on communities and their language use. the initial effort of post-war rebuilding only slowly led to changes in the United Kingdom and Europe. similarly. Initially. the analyses by Mary Bucholtz and Kira Hall and by Jack Sidnell build on these traditions of scholarship in different ways by examining how the social actions accomplished through linguistic interaction . 2008 . However in the United States.LANGUAGE.

It took new reflexive social theorizing in anthropology and sociology as well as a change of emphasis in the study of language and culture to bring sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology back into alignment. the multiple strands of sociolinguistics remained interwoven. it may be said that sociolinguistics became separated from anthropology not because it lacked a social theory but because of its early engagement with specific problems of Western industrialized societies at a time when anthropologists still tended to focus their concerns on small-scale groups in non-Western societies. The linguistic dimensions of such questions were widely pursued by linguists in the United States. Gumperz and Hymes 1972. the socialtheoretical assumptions of sociology went largely unchallenged in sociolinguistic work that took established social theories and their categorizations as a given. The history of sociolinguistics is therefore one characterized by ongoing cross-disciplinary interaction and influence. we now consider new developments in sociolinguistics and its relationship to linguistic anthropology. in Britain. John and Hymes 1972). Journal compilation C C The authors 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Pride and Holmes 1972). While the methods of sociolinguistics were innovative. Despite this divergence in approaches and goals. In this issue. The making of recent linguistic anthropology marks a turn away from taking the community as a given bounded unit toward a more constructivist approach. Monica Heller explores this question in her critique of the use of received sociological categories and concepts within sociolinguistics (see also Woolard 1985). Having built on our own perspective to explore the methodological and theoretical issues that mark the past several decades of research in the field. such as those of increasing equity and access to U. they were explored primarily in the work of Basil Bernstein. who alone among sociologists recognized the important role of language in cultural transmission. At the same time. education (Cazden. It was these issues that gave early sociolinguistics much of its agenda.538 GUMPERZ AND COOK-GUMPERZ educational access as well as an emphasis on the transmission of cultural values across generations through children’s socialization. 2008 . S. as seen in several of the collections that were published at this time (Fishman 1970. THE REALIGNMENT OF SOCIOLINGUISTICS AND LINGUISTIC ANTHROPOLOGY The emerging agendas of contemporary sociolinguistics show a shift towards a new linguistic anthropology. Giglioli 1972. and awareness of the dangers of totalitarian regimes and how these could be combated through understanding the workings of political rhetoric. These developments suggest that in response to the question we posed in the beginning. Sociolinguistics took over existing sociological theories in order to apply linguistic analyses to solve contemporary societal problems. and thus in the reproduction of social ordering and its class divisions (Bernstein 1972). a shift illustrated by the papers in this special issue.

late modern societies provide many possibilities for individual change and for the progressive development of the self. CULTURE. Giddens and Lash 1994). In the ‘risk society’ that characterizes contemporary life. Contemporary societies are increasingly shaped by the mediation of bureaucratic institutions. we briefly mention two themes: the emphasis on identity rather than community as the focus of sociolinguistic analysis and the concern with the political dimension of language in social life. AND SOCIETY 539 linguistic anthropology has engaged with the critical theory that has helped reshape sociology and its involvement with contemporary societal and political issues. These methods allow researchers to uncover speakers’ mechanisms for coping with a changing social field. On the other hand.LANGUAGE. and are no longer protected (or limited) by ascription to a single community-defined category. as we have argued elsewhere (Gumperz and Cook-Gumperz 2007). however. which affect many areas of daily life and create their own communicative requirements. these are also sociolinguistic choices. both macrosocietal analysis as found in early sociological studies of language and linguistic geography as found in dialectology give way to discourse analysis and interactional analysis. The increased mobility and diversity of urban life requires more interpersonal negotiation and verbal persuasion. 2008 . Bureaucracy presents specific challenges for individuals in this regard. also new obligations to make the self a socially acceptable and attractive being – as seen in the new growth industry of self-awareness. such choices are not C The authors 2008 Journal compilation C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. There are risks in change and. Moreover.’ From our own perspective. At the same time. positions that are both under frequent threat and yet subject to ongoing possibilities for reinvention (Beck. As Giddens (1991: 209) puts it. culture. and society. responsible for their own demeanor. individuals recognize their positions within a number of overlapping social arenas. From the sociology of groups and communities to individuals and identities Within the new approach to language. we now recognize that identity involves the need for continuous validation of the self as a bureaucratically sanctioned entity as well as the ongoing reinvention of the self as a person. In contemporary societies. On the one hand. Life politics is centered on lifestyle choices and issues of self-actualization from which political consequences flow. they must present a social self that in any single context seems continuous with a history that either precedes or extends beyond the present. new lifestyle movements in late-modern society ‘represent an era beyond the emancipation from want and from hierarchical domination into a politics of choice. individuals are seen as separate entities. in late modern society. Given this situation. as papers in this special issue show. From the wide range of these new studies. the primary issue is not intercultural communication between groups but the identities and style shifting of individuals. individuals need to construct coherence through explanations about their own fit or lack of fit to the expected categories.

sociolinguists have questioned the descriptive validity of categorizing speech varieties into languages and dialects as they were then recognized. . (1991: 5) From this perspective. of which the most prestigious was the standard variety. they were also motivated by earlier concerns with what constitutes a society and a language in the first place. More recently. politics. issues of what constitutes a standard can now be seen to be repeating the ideological misperceptions of the nineteenth century in a new C The authors 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2008 Journal compilation C . as Irvine (2001) points out. speech styles become aspects of the social in which ways of talking can represent an individual’s self-presentation (Gumperz and CookGumperz 2007). however. yet continuously revised biographical narrative takes place in the context of multiple choices as filtered through abstract systems . This issue first arose in the post-war era when sociolinguists became attuned to the role of social-class hierarchies in shaping linguistic prestige and power (Labov 1972). . . and conflicts The threads from which sociolinguistics was woven were not completely created by the Anglo-American and European experience of the hot and cold wars. The reflexive product of the self which consists in the sustaining of coherent. The more tradition looses its hold. speech styles also gain durability as they come to index an identity: though open to frequent revision they remain part of an individual’s self-presentation. To quote Giddens again: in the post-traditional order of modernity and against the backdrop of new forms of mediated experience self identity becomes a reflexively organized endeavor. have some of the characteristics of clothing styles in that they can be put on to suit an occasion and a situation. saw their task to be to describe a linguistic situation in terms of a collection of speech varieties. However. style is viewed not as a sign of structural constraint on the speaker but as a resource for self-positioning. . the analysis of speech styles has recently again become central to sociolinguistic investigation (Eckert and Rickford 2001). faced with the growing diversity of ethnic communities within a class-stratified urban society. This question has returned in the present day as language enters into new sociopolitical processes of postcolonialism and globalization.’ Moreover. Postcolonial experiences: Language mobilization. but in the current context.540 GUMPERZ AND COOK-GUMPERZ between a finite set of options or variables. James Milroy (2000: 11) raises an issue that is becoming important received knowledge for sociolinguists in the postcolonial age: ‘standard “varieties” appear as idealizations . Stemming from such insights. and the more daily life is reconstituted in terms of the dialectical interplay of the local and global the more individuals are forced to negotiate lifestyle choices among a diversity of options. Speech styles. [that] do not conform exactly to the usage of any particular speaker. In the 1960s and 1970s sociolinguists. .

Social. CULTURE. 2008 . multilingualism. At the same time. without challenging the thinking on which this division rests. and expressions they could attribute to linguistic borrowing also discouraged research on African regional dialectology. The notion of repertoire simply subdivided a larger bounded unit into smaller ones. The same notions of language purity that led nineteenth-century linguists to ignore ‘mixed’ varieties. unless its speakers stubbornly refused to speak anything else. such as social and geographical dialects. Repertoires are usually defined as systems of functionally differentiated. As we noted above. there was no reason to investigate it. and technological changes have resulted in a new alignment between sociolinguists and linguistic anthropologists exploring language ideologies. . . AND SOCIETY 541 guise. and trade and professional languages. C The authors 2008 Journal compilation C Blackwell Publishing Ltd. . . partially overlapping speech varieties. internally integrated units. . as Gal and Irvine suggest. (Gal and Irvine 2000: 56–57) In short. speech communities continued to be seen as bounded. Early sociolinguistic researchers addressed the question of linguistic diversity in a rather different but no less problematic way. They argue that linguistic ideology. any difference could be treated as positive and nondivisive. In this way. However. once the ideological principle emerged that a standard language was spoken by a people living and speaking within a territorial area – which was viewed as a single nation – this principle became entrenched within Western (colonial) language history. the very concept of speech community reflects the 1960s sociological thinking that highlighted a view of social order as integrative. each with its own grammatical characteristics. and that continues to be an important factor in language policies and politics. was the major factor in the original descriptions by which the colonial administrators and European linguists understood regional distinctions: Each language . Once a variety had been declared to belong to the ‘same’ language as another already-described variety. was represented in an impoverished way to differentiate it from the other and to accord with an ideology about its essence.LANGUAGE. All of this rethinking of traditional sociolinguistic concepts and assumptions has led to a radical change in how to understand the internal diversification of today’s nation-states and the competing forces in urban environments. political. Susan Gal and Judith Irvine (2000) make this point in commenting on the nineteenth-century linguistic descriptions that determined language boundaries in West Africa and Central Europe. And the story is one that was repeated around the global from Africa to the South Asian and East Asian subcontinents. regional varieties that seemed to overlap were ignored. registers and styles. the assumption was that speakers choose among these. not language practice as such. these scholars had advanced the notion of linguistic repertoires to explain the pervasive plurilingualism they discovered in their empirical research and to account for the totality of verbal resources available to members of speech communities (Gumperz 1971).

The concerned public now forms a vocal and critical part of any research on language issues. Issues like these are vividly illustrated by Charles Briggs and Clara MantiniBriggs (2000) in their study of the cholera epidemic in Venezuela and the repercussions of the government’s response for local populations. Nor are these issues easy to resolve. by reflexively becoming part of the research. now seen as part of a changing urban sense of personal identity and belonging. and governmental policymakers and funding sources. noting that the researcher. this viewpoint does not always assure an alignment between researchers. In other words. Nevertheless. from which both political and sociolinguistic insights can be gained. are likely to find themselves either in the role of public intellectuals or public scapegoats. much as in early sociolinguistics a new approach grew out of an urgency necessitated by social changes. In today’s political and administrative climate. Diana Eades (1992) shows how a sociolinguistic understanding of communicative practices makes aboriginal populations both more aware of how to make their political case and yet more open to manipulation and persuasion by others. CONCLUSION In this commentary. Such connections – and there are many others in the papers in this special issue – point to the value of collaborative work in shedding light on the complex phenomena of late modern societies. governmental and private funding and channeling of research interests is more likely to be directed to immediate solutions of pressing problems. as Jan Blommaert and Jef Verschueren (1998) point out. As the fields continue to develop in tandem. However. we have argued that the fields of linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics have come together again thanks to a new critical awareness of the possibilities that research on language and culture can offer for contemporary issues. willing or not. their continued confrontation of such challenges is an Journal compilation C C The authors 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.542 GUMPERZ AND COOK-GUMPERZ Kathryn Woolard’s article in this issue. Researchers are no longer the ‘experts’ courted by non-specialist outsiders but can easily be seen as just another interested party. for example. Similarly. sociolinguists and linguistic anthropologists who seek to engage in the complex politics of language in social life. their publics. not to the shaping or directing of long-term intellectual agendas. Such a critical stance is especially appropriate in reconsidering the new issues of language politics and postcolonial language. these positions of intellectual responsibility are an important consequence of the theoretical shift that has brought sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology back into alignment. argues for the necessity of using the linguistic-anthropological concept of language ideologies to account for fundamental processes of language change within variationist sociolinguistics. 2008 . is also implicated in any debates and disagreements that follow. These ethical dilemmas arise as sociolinguists begin to ask questions about whose language and whose concerns are really being addressed in sociolinguistic research.

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