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Language in the City


Admission requirements

This course is meant for students from the BA Linguistics. If the course is full, these students have priority over students from other programmes.
Basic knowledge of linguistics is necessary in order to be able to follow the course.


This course takes a multi-angled perspective on the subject of language (use) in the city. Cities have very specific social dynamics, which set them apart from the countryside. First, they seem to function as a focal point for linguistic innovations; in the second place, they tend to attract people from very different geographical, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, leading to a unique blend of language uses that is much less generally found in non-urban environments.

In this course, we will study these dynamics from a whole variety of perspectives: from urban dialectology, to variationist sociolinguistics, to multilingual repertoires to urban youth speech styles. This will be done by lectures, group assignments, and a final paper. Examples will come from cities from all over the world, including the Netherlands.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of the main methods and theories concerning the subject of the course.

  • Critical insight into the problems, challenges and possibilities of these methods and theories.

  • Academic skills: group work; oral presentation; paper.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminar with compulsory presence.

The seminar consists (a) of lectures (presence compulsory, exaggerated absence can lead to exclusion from the grading or to extra assignments), (b) of a number of group assignments followed by a group presentation and a report, (c) a final individual paper + oral presentation

Assessment method


The course is assessed by means of a weighed grade consisting of:

  • A final paper (individual) about a subject of choice by the student with an oral presentation of the preliminary results in class (60%)

  • A presentation about the final paper (10%)

  • Three group assigments (each 10%)

All of the assessment are compulsory and each one should be graded at least 6.
If a student fails presentation(s) or cannot present for good reasons (e.g. illness), there will be a possibility to do it once more. There is a possibility to do a resit for the paper.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Any readings will be provided during class.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

not applicable


For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats
E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies


not applicable