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.
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.
Introduction to sociolinguistics: What do sociolinguists study?
Languages, dialects, varieties
Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An introduction to sociolinguistics. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; pp. 25-57
Linguistic variation and change
Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An introduction to sociolinguistics. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; pp. 196-219
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.
Language contact: The English situation
Thomason, S. G. (2001). Language contact. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, chapter 1 (Introduction).
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.
Language, identity, and social class
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.
Medeiros, M. (2019). National frenemies: linguistic intergroup attitudes in Canada. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 42:16, 3-22.
Language in relation to gender, sex, and age
Wardhaugh, R, & Fuller, J. M. (2014). An introduction to sociolinguistics. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell. Chapter 12 (Language, Gender, Sexuality), pp. 311-333.
Meyerhoff, M. & Ehrlich, S. (2019). Language, gender, and sexuality. Annual Review of Linguistics, 5, 455-475.
Language and social interaction: ‘Communication Accommodation Theory‘
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.
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
Multilingualism and code-switching
Wardhaugh, R. (2006). An introduction to sociolinguistics. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell; pp. 82-113.
Global Englishes/English as an international language from a sociolinguistic perspective
o Attendance (i.e., doing the online lessons, not missing more than 3) = 20%
o Oral presentation = 40%
o Final exam = 40%