Sociolinguistics is the field of study having to do with the interaction of language and society—how all aspects of society have an effect on language, and how language has an effect on society. The field of sociolinguistics can be described as a mixture of sociology and linguistics, or of anthropology and linguistics. An understanding of sociolinguistics is foundational to all language related work.
In cooperation with national entities, SIL's field workers survey and assess languages, using both purely linguistic and sociolinguistic aspects of language.
Many of the world's lesser-known languages are unwritten. When the speakers of these languages desire, we work with them to develop their languages.
This edition of the Ethnologue includes 6,909 language descriptions, 41,186 primary names, alternate names, and dialect names, 208 color maps and a unique three-letter identifier for each language along with statistical summaries. Available as a durable, hardcover volume as well as a browsable online resource.