Skip to main content

Module

SEL2091 : Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Daniel Duncan
  • Lecturer: Professor Karen Corrigan, Dr Heike Pichler
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The module aims to:
o       Introduce the basic terms, concepts and premises underlying: (i) Labovian sociolinguistics (ii) Fishman's sociology of language paradigm (iii) World Englishes.
o       Give a broad understanding of fieldwork techniques used within these sub-disciplines and offer students the experience of preparing for and conducting their own sociolinguistic interview from which the data is to be transcribed using an established protocol.
o       Emphasis will also be placed (particularly in seminars) on acquiring skills for the resolution of linguistic analyses and the interpretation of tables/graphs.

Students will learn to:
o       Apply the terminological distinctions, principles, methods and concepts used within these sub-disciplines to actual and novel case studies that explore the inter-relationships between language and society.
o       Outline the major difficulties with the Labovian paradigm in terms of the way in which it handles linguistic and extralinguistic variables.
o       Examine alternative approaches to the Labovian paradigm.
o       Understand the principles and practicalities of collecting, coding and transcribing vernacular data.
o       Further explore specific issues raised at the individual level in Labovian Sociolinguistics at the community/national level. The focus will therefore be on language(s) rather than idiolect/sociolect/dialect. Particular attention will be paid to promoting an understanding of the relationship between language and nationalism/ethnicity as well as questions of language loyalty, attitude, status and the power relations apparent in language contact situations.

Outline Of Syllabus

Two major themes are addressed:
(i) The nature and mechanisms of linguistic change within speech communities;
(ii) The symbolic function of language and the effect which this has on the perception of language as a social problem and resource.

Topics include:
- Fieldwork methods in paradigms associated with understanding language and its function in society.
- The linguistic variable.
- Extralinguistic variables.
- The Labovian paradigm.
- Multilingualism and language contact/shift.
- Language standards and standardisation.
- Attitudes and ideologies towards language(s).
- New Englishes.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable