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Since the publication of the first edition of the handbook Sociolinguistics/Soziolinguistik , the then young discipline has changed and developed considerably. The field has left behind its status as an interdiscipline between sociology and linguistics and is now a worldwide established field. Sociolinguistics continues to contribute to solving practical problems in areas such as language planning and standardization, language policy, as well as in language didactics and speech therapy. Moreover, new topics and areas of application have arisen from the autonomy of the discipline - these have been systematically and extensively included in the second edition of the handbook. The new overall concept depicts the regional and disciplinary representativity of sociolinguistic research while offering an encyclopedia-like useablitiy for all its readers. This includes theoretical depth and stringency for readers interested in theory, as well as methodical abundance and detail for empirical researchers. The descriptions of methods are so informative and precise that they can directly be used in the preparation of project planning. Similarly, the descriptions in the practice-oriented articles are so precise that users can accurately assess to what extent they can expect a certain sociolinguistic approach to help solve their problems. With an extensive description as its goal, the second edition of the handbook Sociolinguistics/Soziolinguistik takes into account the current standing of the discipline and the modified structure of the field.
Ulrich Ammon is Professor at the University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Norbert Dittmar is Professor at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Klaus J. Mattheier is Professor at Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany. Peter Trudgill is Professor at the Université de Fribourg, Switzerland.