Undergraduate Course: Sociolinguistics: language and society (LLLI07024)
|School||Centre for Open Learning
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||THIS IS A FOR-CREDIT ONLY COURSE OFFERED BY THE CENTRE FOR OPEN LEARNING (COL); ONLY STUDENTS REGISTERED WITH COL SHOULD BE ENROLLED.
This course offers an introduction to the study of the relationship between language and society. It will cover topics such as: language variation according to class, ethnicity, and gender; language interaction and issues of identity and ideology; multilingualism, language policy and linguistic rights.
1. Overview of sociolinguistics. This class will introduce the main topics that will be tackled throughout the course, as well as some of the key terminology used in sociolinguistics and in linguistics in general.
Block 1. Language and variation
2. Language, class and age. The first part of the class will discuss the ways in which social structure affects how language is used and perceived. The second part of the class will tackle language variation across age groups.
3. Language, ethnicity and place. This class will focus on linguistic variation across ethnic and regional lines. How do we define ethnicity? What is ethnic and regional identity? How do we draw dialect maps?
4. Language and gender. Do men and women speak differently? This class will analyse the role of gender and sexuality in language variation and change. Particular attention will be given to how gender interacts with other variables such as class, ethnicity and race.
Block 2. Interaction, identity and ideology
5. Style, register and jargon - audience design. This class will deal with how speakers use language according to context, subject, and audience. Special attention will be given to how speakers use style to project particular identities.
6. Language in conversation - solidarity and politeness. In this class we will discuss the ways in which speakers interact in conversations, with a particular focus on questions of politeness, and how these are socially and culturally constructed.
7. Language, identity and power - language attitudes and ideology. The first part of the class will deal with how language can be used to express and construct identity but also power dynamics within speakers and within society. The second part will deal with speakers attitudes towards other people's language, and what linguistic and social ideologies these attitudes reveal
Block 3. Multilingualism and language planning
8. Multilingual speakers and multilingual societies. This class will consider how some of the themes and topics discussed throughout the course apply to people who speak more than one language, and two societies where more two or more languages coexist. Particular attention will be given to issues of identity and power.
9. Language planning and education. This class will deal with policies that deal with language, from language in education (which language/dialect should be used in education? How should language be taught?) to planning to protect and promote minority languages, to linguistic rights and language in the courts.
10. Recap and conclusions.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
||Lifelong Learning - Session 2
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||One 2000 word essay submitted after the course finishes, worth 100% of the total course mark.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of the social dimension of language and knowledge of the main levels of linguistic analysis.
- Demonstrate familiarity with basic principles of sociolinguistic research methodology, and be able to critically appraise research in this area.
- Engage critically in discussion and debate on sociolinguistic topics and make informed judgments on language issues.
- Apply the knowledge acquired throughout the course to real world examples and to their own personal experiences as language users.
Van Herk, G. 2012. What Is Sociolinguistics? Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell
Mesthrie, R., Swann, J., Deumert, A., Leap, W.L. 2009. Introducing Sociolinguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Meyerhoff, M. 2006. Introducing Sociolinguistics. London and New York: Routledge.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Manage independent study and research and work to deadlines;
Research and produce clear and well-structured writing;
Ability to read and assess literature critically.
|Course organiser||Mr James Mooney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3077
|Course secretary||Mr Benjamin Mcnab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832