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Focus 5b: Sociolinguistics and discourse II


Admission requirements

Successful completion of BA3 Focus 5a+6: Sociolinguistics and discourse I (or BA3 Focus Gender Dynamics in Contemporary Japanese Society I) and BA2 Focus Introduction to Japanese Linguistics or BA2 Focus Aspects of Japanese as a second language.
This requirement can be waived with the agreement of Dr. R. Länsisalmi in consultation with the TCJK Examinations Committee (e.g. completion of an equivalent basic course in general/sociolinguistics instead of BA2 Focus Introduction to Japanese Linguistics/Aspects of Japanese as a second language).
Since most course texts will be in Japanese, students will be expected to have sufficient Japanese language skills.


This course explores the interrelationship between language, culture, and society and covers key topics in sociolinguistics and discourse studies in Japanese contexts, such as: speech varieties, language change, language contact, language policy, language attitude, group-specific language, gender and language use, foreigner-Japanese contact situations, conversational management, discourse structure, and methodology.
Through reading of articles, discussions and presentations, students will become familiar with selected issues in sociolinguistics and discourse studies in Japanese and develop knowledge and skills for designing and conducting an original study on a topic of their choice in the field. Students are expected to read the materials assigned for the day, use additional sources to those suggested in the course reader and to contribute to the discussions with their own experiences with Japanese (and other familiar languages). Acquired knowledge of discourse analytical skills may also be applied to selected Japanese course materials and texts. In addition, students will receive instruction and guidance on the preparation of the BA thesis in form of seminars/workshops focused on relevant academic skills.

Course objectives

Students will be able to: 1) Acquire an understanding of the social and cultural context of Japan in the analysis of spoken and written Japanese discourse; 2) Locate and critically present, summarise and discuss readings in the field(s);
3) Form theoretical and methodological foundations for designing and conducting original research in the field(s).


See rooster

Mode of instruction

Seminar (werkcollege).

Assessment method

* Research Element (presentation of thesis proposal and draft): 40% * Review element (literature review): 20% * Participation Element (attendance, participation in discussions and seminars/workshops, presentation of analytical assignments/article reviews/translations): 40%


Course notes and slides, course schedule, assignments, required readings, links, etc.

Reading list

Selected readings.


Enrollment through uSis is mandatory.

Contact information

Please contact Mw. Dr. R.J. Länsisalmi.