It is one of the virtues of this book that what one author suggests or asserts may be supplemented or argued with by another. Reading these papers is therefore not unlike attending a thoughtful debate carried on by experts...it is a rigorous and well-referenced (there is a 32-page bibliography) exploration of style from a variety of perspectives. In addition, the work provides fascinating critiques of the many viewpoints presented during the workshop.
Taking into account this gathering of refined versions of classical approaches to style with others completely new perspectives on the one hand, and the extensive reflections on each of these that other experts offer, the book constitutes an excellent up to date of research into the role of style in sociolinguistic variation and represents a serious attempt to solve the problems that its analysis poses. The collection is a fundamental reference, therefore, for students and academics whose works have to deal more or less directly with the complex but at the same time fascinating task of interpreting stylistic variation in speech.
Bernard Spolsky looks at the many debates at the forefront of language policy in this up-to-date introduction. The topics covered include ideas of correctness and bad language; bilingualism and multilingualism; language death and efforts to preserve endangered languages; language choice as a human and civil right; and language education policy. Spolsky develops a theory of modern national language policy and the major forces controlling it and explores questions that arise concerning the recognition of language policies and language management.