Language and Identities offers a broad survey of our current state of knowledge on the connections between variability in language use and the construction, negotiation, maintenance and performance of identities at different levels - individual, group, regional and national. It brings together over 20 specially commissioned chapters, written by distinguished international scholars, on a range of topics around the language/identity nexus. The collection deals sequentially with identities at various levels, both social and personal. Using detailed, empirical evidence, the chapters illustrate how the multi-layered, dynamic nature of identities is realised through linguistic behaviour. Several chapters in the volume focus on contexts in which we might expect to observe a foregrounding of factors involved in the definition and delimitation of self and other: for example, cases in which identities may be disputed, changing, blurred, peripheral, or imposed. Such a focus on complex contexts allows clearer insight into the identity-making and -marking functions of language.
The collection approaches these topics from a range of perspectives, with contributions from sociolinguists, sociophoneticians, linguistic anthropologists, clinical linguists and forensic linguists.
Carmen Llamas lectures in sociolinguistics at the University of York. She is co-editor (with Dominic Watt) of Language and Identities (2010) and (with Peter Stockwell and Louise Mullany) of The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics (2007). Her research deals primarily with phonological variation and change in the North East and the Scottish-English border region. Dominic Watt lectures in Forensic Speech Science at the University of York, UK