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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures : Asian Studies

Postgraduate Course: Language Communities and Variation in Japanese (ASST11096)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Literatures, Languages and Cultures CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will explore an approach to language variation in Japanese. The overarching theme is understanding what varieties of language structure, style and use are found in modern Japanese language.

Through class activities and hands-on projects students will be exposed to a diverse range of Japanese language practice, and they will critically examine connections among language and social practice.

As a result of this course, students will become more aware of the choices individuals and groups make about how they use language to declare their social identity.
Course description Readings, discussion, and assignments will focus on several important issues such as: the relationship between social identities, like gender or social status, and variation in language use, age-graded and dialectal variation, and the ways in which new literacy practice has been shaped by new media.

The student numbers for this course are capped at 25. Priority will be given to students on the MSc Japanese Society and Culture and students on other Japanese Studies programme.

Week 1 Introduction to Language Communities and variation in Japanese
Week 2 Dealing with the linguistic data
Week 3 Gender-related variation
Week 4 (1) Regional variation, (2) Hands-on Data analysis practice session for take-home exam
Week 5 Individual take-home exam: 1 data analysis (worth 20%)
Week 6 (1) Data analysis exercises for presentation & final essay, and (2) Guidance for oral presentation
Week 7 (1) Age-related variation, (2) Take-home exam feedback / Individual essay topic consultation
Week 8 New media, new literacy practices
Week 9 Drop-in sessions: Individual consultations on your presentation/ final essay and sampling data
Week 10 (1) Peer-review of your partner's data analysis, and (2) Oral presentation of individual research topic (worth 20%)
Week 11 Oral presentation of individual research topic (worth 20%)

This syllabus is subject to change; any alterations will be announced in class.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements JLPT N2 level of Japanese language proficiency or equivalent in Japanese language qualification. If not sure, please consult with the course organizer.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 4, Formative Assessment Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 160 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One individual assignment (20%)
One assessed presentation (20%)
One 3000 word essay (60%)
Feedback One non-assessed Peer-review session during class hours and peer/teacher feedback will be presented during the class.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Gain an advanced and sophisticated understanding of colloquial, dialectal, and written variation used in Japanese language communities.
  2. Explain and illustrate with real-life examples the role that language plays in the construction and shaping of social relationships.
  3. Search, process and evaluate a wide range of socially-situated spoken and written discourse from both online and offline multimedia materials and printed resources.
  4. Acquire some techniques for analysis of conversational and written texts.
Reading List
* Crystal, David. 2006. Language and the Internet. Second edition.. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Goffman, Erving. 1974. Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Harper Colophon Books; CN 372. New York: Harper & Row.
* Gottlieb, Nanette. 2005. Language and Society in Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Gray, John. 2012. Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus: The Classic Guide to Understanding the Opposite Sex. New York: Harper.
* Ide, Sachiko, and Naomi Hanaoka McGloin. 1991. Aspects of Japanese Women's Language
* Maynard, Senko K.. 1997. Japanese Communication: Language and Thought in Context. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
* Meyerhoff, Miriam. 2011. Introducing Sociolinguistics. Second edition.Abingdon: Routledge.
* Meyerhoff, Miriam, and Erik Schleef. 2010. The Routledge Sociolinguistics Reader. London; New York, NY: Routledge.
* Strauss, Susan G.. 2014. Discourse Analysis: Putting Our Worlds into Words. New York: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group.
* Tsujimura, Natsuko. 1999. The Handbook of Japanese Linguistics. Blackwell Handbooks in Linguistics. Malden, Mass; Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Building teamwork skills
Working within constraints
Manage timed oral presentations and answering questions in conference-like settings
Additional Class Delivery Information There will be one two-hour lecture meeting. Activities including lecture, seminar, reading and data analysis session, in which students will work in small groups on data analysis.

Lectures will be supplemented with ample in-class exercises, for which students will be given ongoing formative feedback.

There will be a student-led seminar at the end of each teaching block when students present their 'hands-on' projects to the rest of the course for class discussion.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Yoko Sturt
Tel: (0131 6)50 4228
Course secretaryMiss Lizzy Irvine
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