In this course we will study the ways in which language is used in the context of society as a means to define and maintain social cohesion and diversity. We will learn how speech communities can be defined by different factors, including ethnicity, gender, age and socio-economic class. During the interactive lectures you will be introduced to the different quantitative and qualitative research methods used within sociolinguistics and discuss the weekly readings. In addition we will look at micro- and macrovariation in language, diglossia, and registers in language use. We will study multilingualism, language contact phenomena, folk linguistics, and language death in relation to the languages spoken in Europe and the rest of the world.
Knowledge of current theories and issues of the social function of language
Understanding of the nature of regional and social variation in language
Understanding of the use of language as a means of power
Knowledge and understanding of the use of different methods of analyzing language use from different social, ethnic, and gender groups of informal and formal registers
Mode of instruction
- Lecture (2 hours per week)
Total course load 5 ec x 28 hours = 140 hours
Lectures: 2 hours per week x 13 weeks: 26 hours
Study of compulsory literature, preparation for lecture assignments and exams: 110 hours
Exam(s): = 4 hours (2 mid-term, 2 final exam)
Written examination with closed questions (eg multiple choice) (60%)
Written examination with short open questions (40%)
To complete the final mark, please take notice of the following:
The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average
Students will take a resit examination for all parts at once. In this case the students will all take the same resit and this resit will cover the entire material of the course and the mark will replace all previously earned marks.
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.
Blackboard will be used for:
Discussion questions and interactive assignments
Supplementary articles and other readings
An Introduction to Sociolingistics, 7th Edition by Ronald Wardhaugh and Janet M. Fuller (2015), Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell