978-0-8122-1249-5 / 0812212495

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About the book:

An introduction both to languages themselves and to their social role, Languages and Their Status gives insight into the meaning, value, and function of language within culture and into the ways language behavior varies and changes. It examines the part languages play in the evolution and structure of communities and, in turn, the ways languages are shaped by the social forces impinging on their speakers.

Each chapter discusses what it means to be a speaker of a particular language and puts that language in context among the languages of the world.

This volume is complemented by a second volume entitled Languages and Their Speakers, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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