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Language in the British Isles

by David Britain

The British Isles are home to a vast range of different spoken and signed languages and dialects. Language continues to evolve rapidly, in its diversity, in the number and the backgrounds of its speakers, and in the repercussions it has had for political and educational affairs. This book provides a comprehensive survey of the dominant languages and dialects used in the British Isles. Topics covered include the history of English; the relationship between Standard and Non-Standard Englishes; the major non-standard varieties spoken on the islands; and the history of multilingualism; and the educational and planning implications of linguistic diversity in the British Isles. Among the many dialects and languages surveyed by the volume are British Black English, Celtic languages, Chinese, Indian, European migrant languages, British Sign Language, and Anglo-Romani. Clear and accessible in its approach, it will be welcomed by students in sociolinguistics, English language, and dialectology, as well as anyone interested more generally in language within British society.

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