What is the English language like, why is it like that and what do we need to know in order to study it? This wide ranging 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. Written by a team of experts in diverse fields, English Language: Description, Variation and Context: - Covers both traditional topics and topics that have more recently come to prominence, notably concerning language use in context - 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 - Employs a research-led approach, making the latest developments in the field highly accessible for an undergraduate audience, yet fruitful for more advanced readers. Comprehensive and engaging, this invaluable textbook provides an ideal starting point for those new to the subject, straightforward progression for those who have studied it before and cutting-edge insights for more seasoned scholars. Edited by Jonathan Culpeper, Senior Lecturer in English Language, Francis Katamba, Professor of Linguistics, Paul Kerswill, Professor of Sociolinguistics, Ruth Wodak, Distinguished Professor of Discourse Studies and Tony McEnery, Professor of English Language and Linguistics and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, all in the Department of Linguistics and English Language at Lancaster University.