Topic outline

  • General

    Sociolinguistics is a discipline within the field of linguistics concerned with the systematic investigation of human language in relation to the social life of its speakers. This course is designed to offer introductory knowledge of basic sociolinguistic terms (e.g., accent, dialect, diglossia) and methodology (i.e., real-time, apparent-time experiments) used by researchers to investigate language in its social context. We will discuss several of the topics that sociolinguists traditionally study, including the relationships between social identity and language use, linguistic diversity, language variation and change, and language contact. We will also examine some of the methods for collecting and analyzing data. By the end of this course, students will have acquired the ability to understand aspects of sociolinguistic theory and data, based on knowledge of the scholarly research in the field.

     

    Important

    This course will consist of live lectures over Teams, supplemented with reading assignments that students are required to complete before class. We will not have an online lecture every week (mostly at the beginning of the semester) but students may be given assignments to complete and submit as homework, which will then serve as proof of attendance. 

     

      

     

     

     

  • Syllabus

       

    Lesson 1

    Introduction to sociolinguistics: What do sociolinguists study? 

    LIVE LECTURE 

      

    Lesson 2

    Languages, dialects, varieties

    Required reading: 

    Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An introduction to sociolinguistics. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; pp. 25-57

    LIVE LECTURE 

      

    Lesson 3

    Linguistic variation and change 

    Required reading: 

    Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An introduction to sociolinguistics. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; pp. 196-219

    Optional reading: 

    Sankoff, G. (2004). Linguistic outcomes of language contact. In: J. K. Chambers, P. Trudgill & N. Schilling-Estes (Eds.), The handbook of language variation and change (pp. 638-668). Malden MA: Blackwell. 

    LIVE LECTURE   

     

    Lesson 4

    Language contact: The English situation

    Required reading: 

    Thomason, S. G. (2001). Language contact. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, chapter 1 (Introduction). 

    Optional reading: 

    Drager, K. (2012). Pidgin and Hawai'i English: An overview. Int. J. Lang. Transl. Intercult. Comm. 1/1, 61-73. 

    Dowling, T., McCormick, K. & Dyers, C. (2019). Language contact in Cape Town. In: R. Hickey (ed.), English in multilingual South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 129-150. 

    LIVE LECTURE 

     

      
    Lessons 5 & 6

    Language, identity, and social class

    Required reading: 

    Guy, G. R. (2012). Language, social class, and status. In Mesthrie, R. (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 159-185. 

    Optional reading: 

    Medeiros, M. (2019). National frenemies: linguistic intergroup attitudes in Canada. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 42:16, 3-22. 

        
    Lesson 7

    Language in relation to gender, sex, and age

    Required reading: 

    Wardhaugh, R, & Fuller, J. M. (2014). An introduction to sociolinguistics. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. Chapter 12 (Language, Gender, Sexuality), pp. 311-333. 

    Optional reading:

    Meyerhoff, M. & Ehrlich, S. (2019). Language, gender, and sexuality. Annual Review of Linguistics, 5, 455-475. 

      

    Lesson 8

    Language and social interaction: ‘Communication Accommodation Theory‘

    Required reading: 

    Giles, H. & Ogay, T. (2007), Communication Accommodation Theory. In: B. B. Waley, & W. Samter (Eds.), Explaining Communication: Contemporary Theory and Exemplars. Mahwah NJ: Erlbaum, pp. 293-310.

    Optional reading: 

    MacIntyre, P. D. (2019). Anxiety/Uncertainty Management and Communication Accommodation in Women’s Brief Dyadic Conversations With a Stranger: An Idiodynamic Approach. SAGE Open, 9/3, https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244019861482

      
    Lesson 9

    Multilingualism and code-switching

    Required reading:

    Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An introduction to sociolinguistics. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; pp. 82-113. 

       

    Lesson 10

    Global Englishes/English as an international language from a sociolinguistic perspective

      

    Lesson 11

    Student presentations

      

    Lesson 12

    Student presentations

     

    Lesson 13

    Student presentations

    • Grading %

       

      o          Attendance (i.e., doing the online lessons, not missing more than 3) = 20%

      o          Oral presentation  = 40%

      o          Final exam = 40%