[lg policy] Re: Accounts of the history of sociolinguistics

Dave Sayers dave.sayers at cantab.net
Thu Aug 6 13:56:25 UTC 2015

Ah... this follow-up has spurred a couple of new responses, delayed due to absence 
from email. Since that might happen more as people drift back and forth from email 
over the summer, and since this list has got pleasingly long since my original email, 
I've made a publicly editable Google document for this growing bibliography: 

If you've not used one of these before, you just click the link and you'll be able to 
type right on to the page, at the same time as everyone else. All updates are saved 
automagically in real time, and you'll always see the 'latest' version. I've set it 
so that you don't need to be signed into Google to edit the document (trading 
accessibility for security, hoping there are no trolls in these rarefied academic 
circles). Enjoy!


Dr. Dave Sayers
Senior Lecturer, Dept Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University
Honorary Research Fellow, Arts & Humanities, Swansea University (2009-2015)
dave.sayers at cantab.net | http://shu.academia.edu/DaveSayers

On 06/08/2015 13:11, Dave Sayers wrote:
> Ok I think the responses to this have now stopped. Long story short: there doesn't
> seem to be quite the book I was after, namely a general history of sociolinguistics.
> Nevertheless, there are lots of interesting books, chapters and articles I didn't
> know about...
> Calvet, Louis-Jean. 1993. La Sociolinguistique. Collection “Que Sais-Je?”. Paris:
> Presses Universitaires de France.
> Cameron, R, and R. Bayley. 2015.. General Introduction: A brief history of the study
> of  language variation and change in Vol. 1: Foundations and Methods. Language
> Variation and Change: Critical Concepts in Linguistics. London: Routledge.  1- 12.
> Carter, Phillip M. 2013. Poststructuralist Theory and Sociolinguistics: Mapping the
> Linguistic Turn in Social Theory. Language and Linguistics Compass 7(11): 580-596.
> Erickson, Frederick. 2004. Origins: A brief intellectual and technological history of
> the emergence of Multimodal Discourse Analysis. In LeVine, Philip & Ron Scollon
> (eds.), Discourse and technology: Multimodal Discourse Analysis. Washington:
> Georgetown University Press. 196-207.
> Koerner, E.F.K. 2002.  Toward a History of American Linguistics. London: Routledge.
> [esp chapter 10, 'William Labov and the Origins of Sociolinguistics in America']
> Labov, William. (no date) How I got into linguistics, and what I got out of it.
> http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~wlabov/HowIgot.html
> Labov, William. 2009. A Life of Learning: Six People I Have Learned From (Charles
> Homer Haskins Prize Lecture).
> https://www.acls.org/publications/audio/labov/default.aspx?id=4462
> Murray, Stephen O. 1998. American sociolinguistics: Theorists and theory groups. John
> Benjamins.
> Murray, Stephen O. 1994. Theory groups and the study of language in North America: a
> social history. Vol. 69. John Benjamins.
> Parret, Herman. 1974. Discussing Language. The Hague, Mouton. [includes interviews
> with e.g. Wallace Chafe, Michael Halliday, and George Lakoff]
> Paulston, C. B. & G.R. Tucker (eds.). 2003. Sociolinguistics: The Essential Readings.
> Oxford: Blackwell.
> (I didn't include all the sources in my original email in this list, as I hadn't
> written them out as full references and this email is taking long enough!)
> Thanks to Richard Cameron, Damien Hall, Kanjana Thepboriruk, Daniel Ezra Johnson,
> Paul Lewis, Daniel Ginsberg, and Gerard Van Herk for getting in touch with all these.
> Much appreciated.
> So, as I said above, from all the above it doesn't seem like anything out there
> really fits the bill overall. But one idea that came from Daniel Ginsberg was that if
> you're setting out to teach the history of slx, then perhaps it would be best to set
> all these readings (the ones above and the ones in my original email) and let
> students piece it together. That could be a very instructive task in itself, and they
> could compare how certain events were narrated differently by different authors.
> Anyway, the way is clear for anyone who wants to write (or perhaps better, edit) a
> general history of sociolinguistics. If you would like to use this email as evidence
> of a gap in the market for your book proposal, then you are most welcome :)
> Dave
> --
> Dr. Dave Sayers
> Senior Lecturer, Dept Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University
> Honorary Research Fellow, Arts & Humanities, Swansea University (2009-2015)
> dave.sayers at cantab.net | http://shu.academia.edu/DaveSayers
> On 27/07/2015 14:39, Dave Sayers wrote:
>> Hello to those of you not currently sunning yourselves or darting about the
>> conference circuit (or checking email whilst doing either/both of those),
>> Does anyone know of a book-length account of the history of sociolinguistics as a
>> discipline, past to present? I've never come across anything really substantial on
>> the history of the discipline as a whole. I've often wondered about this, right back
>> from my days as a postgrad in sociology - by comparison a discipline *absolutely
>> obsessed* with its history. Up to now I've used the following as week 1 readings,
>> introducing students to the field:
>> http://uk.sagepub.com/sites/default/files/upm-binaries/35389_5434_Wodak_Chap_01.pdf
>> http://www.sagepub.net/isa/resources/pdf/sociolinguistics.pdf
>> Certain other handbooks (though not all) have similar summary histories.
>> There are some articles and at least one book focusing specifically on the early
>> development of the field...
>> http://www.sil.org/resources/publications/entry/6500
>> ...then there are longer histories but focused on the development of specific ideas
>> within sociolinguistics, e.g. the speech community...
>> http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~patrickp/papers/SpeechCommunity.pdf
>> ...or (ahem) global linguistic innovations...
>> http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/josl.12069/abstract
>> There's Sali Tagliamonte's forthcoming 'Making Waves: The Story of Variationist
>> Sociolinguistics'...
>> http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118455169.html
>> ...which looks extremely interesting, though it seems (from the online blurb) written
>> more in the genre of personal narrative(s) than academic history of ideas. It's also
>> purposefully constrained to variationist sociolinguistics.
>> So does anyone know of anything charting the history of the broad church of
>> sociolinguistics, and its various denominations (sects!)?
>> Suggestions direct to me please, and I'll send an update to the list once they've all
>> come in.
>> Thanks,
>> Dave
>> --
>> Dr. Dave Sayers
>> Senior Lecturer, Dept Humanities, Sheffield Hallam University
>> Honorary Research Fellow, Arts & Humanities, Swansea University (2009-2015)
>> dave.sayers at cantab.net | http://shu.academia.edu/DaveSayers
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