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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Introduction to Sociolinguistics (LASC11095)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaLanguage Sciences Other subject areaNone
Course website Please use Learn Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionSociolinguistics can be defined as the study of language in use. Sociolinguistics research involves describing patterns of language in use and proposing theories to account for those observed patterns, often with recourse to social factors such as the identity of the speaker or the cultural relevance of the speaking context. Descriptive questions include: How do (different) people talk in different contexts, with different addressees, and for different purposes? When do people vary in how they use language, and when do they not vary? Theoretical questions ask why the answers to these questions look the way that they do, attempting to explore why the same sociolinguistic patterns can be seen across different communities and cultures. In short, this course covers research that asks: What motivates speakers to make different linguistic choices? And what communicative and social functions are served by those choices?

Feedback Events:
1: 20 minutes of one lecture dedicated to describing the expectations of the assignment
2: Two full hours of lecture dedicated to the general principles underlying the assessment; one full hour dedicated to discussing the specific assignment
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 22, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 75 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Our chief objectives in the course are to:
- Develop systematic approaches to studying the differences in how we use language; and
- Develop a distinctively linguistic perspective in how we describe and explain what we observe.

The terminology and knowledge that you are simultaneously developing in the core courses on linguistic structure will be extremely useful to you, and as the semester progresses, you should find you can draw on insights from those courses more and more often in your discussion of sociolinguistics.

Similarly, the skills and approaches you are developing in the Introduction to Discourse Analysis are a perfect complement to the skills and approaches we focus on in this course. By the end of the semester, you will be able to synthesise what you have learnt about the qualitative analysis of language in use (discourse analysis) with the quantitative analysis of language in use(our focus in sociolinguistics).
Assessment Information
One 1000 word essay (30%)
One 2500 word essay (70%)

Part One Assignment Deadline: Monday 21st October, 12 noon
Maximum Word Count: 1000 words +10%
Part One Return Date: Tuesday 12th November

Part Two Assignment Deadline: Monday 9th December, 12 noon
Maximum Word Count: 2500 words +10%
Part Two Return Date: Tuesday 14th January 2014
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list "What is Sociolinguistics?" by Gerard Van Herk
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Lauren Hall-Lew
Tel: (0131 6)51 1836
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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