The Departmental Book

In 2009 members of the Linguistics department (under the editorship of Jonathan Culpeper, Paul Kerswill, Ruth WodakFrancis Katamba and Tony McEnery) produced the huge (718 paged!) textbook, English Language: Description, Variation and Context.

  • What is the English language like?  
  • Why is it like that?    
  • What do we need to know in order to study it?

This wide ranging and research-led introductory textbook not only presents the English language from multiple perspectives, but provides the reader with the necessary grounding in linguistics to investigate it for themselves.

Key features

  • Each chapter includes ‘Advances’ boxes, designed to give readers a sense of controversies, debates and further research in the area, and ‘Illustrations’ boxes, which contain extended and additional examples to facilitate learning.
  • Covers both traditional topics and topics that have more recently come to prominence, notably concerning language use in context.
  • A research-led approach, making the latest developments in the field highly accessible for an undergraduate audience.
  • Written by a team of experts in diverse fields from the prestigious Lancaster University linguistics department in the UK.


"This volume proves that it is still possible to make a difference in a world flooded by introductory textbooks - giving the English language in all its fascinating richness centre stage...written in an accessible style that makes for an attractive read, this will be a most useful companion for any student, undergraduate or graduate, of English and the linguistics of English."

Professor Bernd Kortmann, Department of English, University of Freiburg, Germany

"This is a rare beast - a comprehensive, authoritative and up-to-date survey of English Language and Linguistics that will provide students and researchers alike with a rich context for their work."

Michael Hoey, University of Liverpool, UK 

Publication details

View full details of the book from the publisher.