Sociolinguistics Welcome to the postgraduate Sociolinguistics course 2015
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Sociolinguistics Welcome to the postgraduate Sociolinguistics course 2015
COURSE DESCRIPTION • Sociolinguistics is concerned with the investigation of the relationships between linguistic phenomena and human social organization and social life. This course focuses on the central theoretical approaches to the study of language and society that have developed over the last five decades: variational sociolinguistics, the ethnography of communication, and interactional sociolinguistics. These will be explored through the accounts provided in the textbook (Wardhaugh: Sociolinguistics ) and through other chapters and influential scholarly papers that exemplify the goals and methods of these approaches. In addition, a variety of other topics will be covered, including the development of pidgins and creoles, multilingualism, globalization and language status, language choice, and aspects of language and culture.
• Although most of the language data considered in this course will be drawn from the English language and British and American cultures, the sociolinguistics of other languages and cultures, including Arabic, will also be examined. • Prerequisites: Students enrolled in this course must have taken an introductory linguistics course before the start of the course.
Objectives • The course is designed to: 1. increase students' awareness of the ways that language and social contexts interact and develop their ability to explain some of these interactions to other people both other linguists and the general public. 2. increase students' understanding of concepts, terminology, and research paradigms which are important in understanding sociolinguistic work. 3. strengthen students' ability to apply sociolinguistic principles and research in teaching, translation, workplace, and everyday situations.
4. give students practice with some analytical techniques in sociolinguistic work 5. allow students to focus more detailed attention on a single sociolinguistic topic. 6. investigate intersections between the linguistic theory students already know, new concepts from sociolinguistic theory, and social theory. 7. learn how to recognize and isolate the sociolinguistic variable, and study the external and internal pressures that affect its occurrence. See how the use of linguistic forms interact with key social categories such as socio-economic status, gender and age, and individual-level factors.
8. recognize variation as a natural part of language. Develop skills for finding the linguistic variation in all levels of the grammar. 9. Investigate the relationship between social structure and language attitudes 10. gain familiarity with the terminology, methods, and literature of sociolinguistics 11. develop skills for critiquing both sociolinguistic literature and common language attitudes.
Most of the language data will be drawn from the English language and American as well as English cultures, The module will also examine the Sociolinguistics of other languages and cultures, mainly Arabic.
• Required Texts • Wardhaugh, R. 1986, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics, Oxford: Basil Blackwell • Wardhaugh, Ronald. 2010. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (6 th ed. ) • Malden, MA and Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell • Bell, Allan (2014). The Guidebook to Sociolinguistics. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell. • Selected readings from articles available through students' own research abilities and the university library.
course contents Sessions/ Lectures Topics Week 1 An Introduction to Sociolinguistics The Scientific Investigation of Language Relationship between language and society Sociolinguistics and sociology of linguistics Week 2 Language and Dialect Register and Style Week 3 Pidgin and Creole- An Introduction Theories of origin of pidgin to Creole
Week 4 Language Diversity and Speech Communities Bilingualism and Multilingualism Dimensions, Manifestations and Effects of Bilingualism Week 5 Diaglossia and Bilingualism Language Choice: Domain Theory Code choice: Code-switching, Code-mixing Borrowing Difference between Code-switching and Borrowing Social Factors involved in Code-switching and Borrowing Week 6 Week 7 Variation and Change Regional Variation Relating Linguistic Variation to Social Variation
Week 8 Presentations & Mid Term Examination Week 9 Language, Culture and Thought Linguistic and Cultural relativity Language and Thought The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis Social Functions of Language Solidarity and Politeness Tu and Vous Address Terms Presentations Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Presentations Discussion on Assignments
Week 13 Language and Gender 1 Male-Female Language Differences Language and Gender 2 Linguistic inequality Week 14 Discourse Analysis Power and Ideology in Language Week 15 Stereotypes Analysing Discourse- News Article New, National and International Englishes Week 16 Ethnography and Ethno-methodology Conversational Style Asymmetrical Talk Revision
• Evaluation will be based on individual and group quizzes, applications, 1 small research project and a final exam. Graduate students are expected to also complete 2 article reviews in the field of sociolinguistics. • • • Evaluation: 20%Class participation and quizes 10%Presentations on sociolinguistics topics 20% Final Paper and articles. 50% final exam
• N. B. The instructor reserves the right to make slight modifications to the schedule as necessary. However, you will be advised well in advance of any changes.
• References: • Bell, A. (1984) Language style as audience design. In Coupland, N. and A. Jaworski (1997, eds. ) Sociolinguistics: a reader and coursebook, pp. 240 -50. New York: St. Martin’s Press Inc. • Bell, A. (2007) Style and the linguistic repertoire. In Llamas, Carmen, Mullany, Louise, and Stockwell, Peter (eds. ) The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics, pp. 95 -100. London: Routledge.
• Chambers, J. K. (2002) Sociolinguistic Theory. Malden, MA: Blackwell. • Cheshire, Jenny. (2004) Sex and Gender in Variationist Research. In Chambers, J. K. , Trudgill, Peter, and Schilling-Estes, Natalie (eds. ) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change, pp. 423 -443. Malden, MA: Blackwell. • Coulmas, Florian. (2001) Sociolinguistics. In Aronoff, Mark and Rees-Miller, Janie (eds. ) The Handbook of Linguistics, pp. 563 -581. Malden, MA: Blackwell. • Coupland, N. (2001) Language, situation and the relational self: theorizing dialect-style in sociolinguistics. In P. Eckert and J. Rickford (eds) Style and Sociolinguistic Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 185 -210.
• Eckert, Penelope. (2004. ) The meaning of style. in Wai. Fong Chiang, Elaine Chun, Laura Mahalingappa, Siri Mehus eds. Salsa 11. Texas Linguistics Forum. 47 • Eckert, P. (1998) Gender and sociolinguistic variation. In Coates, J. (ed. ) Language and Gender: a reader. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, pp. 64 -75. • Fasold, R. (1993) Address Forms, The sociolinguistics of language, ch 1. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, pp. 1 -38. • Gal, S. (1978) Peasant men can’t get wives: language change and sex roles in a bilingual community, Language in Society, 7(1), pp. 1 -16. • Hazen, K. , Hamilton, S. and Vacovsky, S. (2011) The fall of demonstrative them: evidence from Appalachia. English World-Wide 32: 1, pp. 74 -103.
• Labov, W. (1972 a) The linguistic consequences of being a lame, Language in the inner city, ch. 7. Philadelphia: U Pennsylvania, pp. 255 -292. • Labov, W. (1972 b) The social stratification of (r) in New York City department stores. In Sociolinguistic Patterns. Philadelphia: U Pennsylvania, pp. 43 -69. • Labov, W. (1972 c) The study of language in its social context. In Giglioli, P. P. (ed. ) Language and Social Context. Harmondsworth: Penguin, pp. 283 -98. • Llamas, Carmen. (2007) Age. In Llamas, Carmen, Mullany, Louise, and Stockwell, Peter (eds. ) The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics, pp. 69 -76. London: Routledge. • Milroy, James. (2007) The ideology of the standard language. In Llamas, Carmen, Mullany, Louise, and Stockwell, Peter (eds. ) The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics, pp. 133 -139. London: Routledge.
• Milroy, J. and Milroy, L. (1978) Belfast: Change and variation in an urban vernacular. In P. Trudgill, (ed. ), Sociolinguistic patterns in British English. London: Edward Arnold, pp. 19 -36. • Preston, D. R. (1986) Five visions of America. Language in Society, 15(2), pp. 221 -240. Purnell, T. , Idsardi, W. , and Baugh, J. (1999) Perceptual and phonetic experiments on American English dialect identification, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 18(1), pp. 10 -30. Rickford, J. R. and Rickford, R. J. (2000) History. Spoken Soul: the story of Black English. New York: John Wiley and Sons, pp. 129 -160. • •
• Roberts, Julie. (2004) Child language variation. In Chambers, J. K. , Trudgill, Peter, and Schilling. Estes, Natalie (eds. ) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change, pp. 333 -348. Malden, MA: Blackwell. • Sankoff, Gillian & Blondeau, Hélene (2007). Language change across the lifespan: /r/ in Montreal French. Language 83: 3, pp. 560 -588. • Smitherman, G. (1998) Ebonics, King, and Oakland: Some folk don’t believe fat meat is greasy, Journal of English Linguistics, 26(2), pp. 97 -107. • Trudgill, Peter. Introducing Language and Society, London: Penguin. 1992. London: Routledge. ) 11 th Chapter of the Text Book
• Tuten, Donald N. (2007) Koineization. In Llamas, Carmen, Mullany, Louise, and Stockwell, Peter (eds. ) The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics, pp. • Wolfram, W. (1998 a) Language ideology and dialect: understanding the Ebonics controversy. Journal of English Linguistics, 26(2), pp. 108 -121. • Wolfram, W. (1998 b) Scrutinizing linguistic gratuity: issues from the field, Journal of Sociolinguistics, 2(2), pp. 271 -279. • Wolfram, W. , and Schilling-Estes, N. (1998) American English, ch. 4. Dialects in the US: past, present, and future. Oxford, UK: Blackwell, pp. 90 -123.
• Language is all around you. It can make you laugh, make you cry, convey your emotions, make things happen. You use it every day, and have been doing since you were a very young child – even before you could tie your own shoelaces. It's an essential part of what makes us human. Using language is one of the most amazing things we do. • Have you ever stopped to wonder where language came from, or even what kind of things you really know as a speaker of one or more languages?
Language as communication • • Language as Text. The Interaction of People. The Interpretation of Texts. What do you communicate? Ideas? Emotions? Intentions? How do you communicate? Messages: The interpretation of messages. The construction of messages.
What is Sociolinguistics? • Sociolinguistics is the study of the relationship between language and society.
• Sociolinguistics is the study of how language serves and is shaped by the social nature of human beings. In its broadest conception, sociolinguistics analyzes the many and diverse ways in which language and society entwine. This vast field of inquiry requires and combines insights from a number of disciplines, including linguistics, sociology, psychology and anthropology.
• Sociolinguistics examines the interplay of language and society, with language as the starting point. Variation is the key concept, applied to language itself and to its use. The basic premise of sociolinguistics is that language is variable and changing. As a result, language is not homogeneous — not for the individual user and not within or among groups of speakers who use the same language.
• By studying written records, sociolinguists also examine how language and society have interacted in the past. For example, they have tabulated the frequency of the singular pronoun thou and its replacement you in dated handwritten or printed documents and correlated changes in frequency with changes in class structure in 16 th and 17 th century England. This is historical sociolinguistics: the study of relationship between changes in society and changes in language over a period of time.
• • • Sociolinguistics can help us understand why we speak differently in various social contexts, and help uncover the social relationships in a community. For example, you probably wouldn't speak the same to your boss at work as you would your friends, or speak to strangers as you would to your family. Sociolinguistics may also wonder whether women and men speak the same as each other. Or why do people the same age or from the same social class or same ethnicity use similar language? Sociolinguistics attempts to explain all these questions and more. Ultimately, sociolinguistics is everywhere!
• To explain all these questions there are many different micro and macro approaches of sociolinguistics such as: Interactional Sociolinguistics • Variationist Sociolinguistics • Historical sociolinguistics • Dialectology - this is equally similar to the study of different Varieties of English • Discourse Analysis • Conversation Analysis • Language planning and policy
• Sociolinguistics is a move towards studying language performance, and there are two arguments on why this should be studied within language: Language is an interactive and cultural phenomenon which should be studied. • Actual language use is highly structured and not at a random. • These arguments split into two strands of sociolinguistics: Interactional Sociolinguistics • Variationist Sociolinguistics
How is Sociolinguistics studied? • 1. General facts about the study of sociolinguistics. • There are two approaches to the study of sociolinguistics 'micro' and 'macro'. Micro Sociolinguistics Macro Sociolinguistics They look at social and linguistic influence on specific linguistic features. They are interested in the individual differences and the way they are used e. g. the variation between 'singing' and 'singin''. They look at language and communication more generally. The focus is on the wider scale which allows generalisations to be made and conclusions to be identified. Eg: the choices made about conversational structure or a trend amongst a large sample
• Competence Vs Performance Sociolinguistics focuses on 'linguistic performance'. • It is studied in relation to the actual language that is produced and the way it is used in its wider social context. • As a fairly new discipline areas of inquiry in the past primarily studied language in relation to 'linguistic competence'. Competence- Study Of Language in relation to: Linguistic competence refers to the knowledge of grammar and to the ILanguage which is the internal system within the mind. Performance- Study of Language in relation to: Linguistics performance refers to the use of knowledge and to E-Language which is the external reflection of language.
• 2. Methods and Applications
• Who does Sociolinguistics? • As Sociolinguistics is such a broad topic, many people are taking an interest into it today. You and the community you live in will relate to sociolinguistics, because you alter your language depending on who you talk to. This variation doesn't make you a Sociolinguist personally, but it gives researchers a focus of study when researching this discipline, as many people wonder what are the causes for variation within speech. As mentioned in What is Sociolinguistics? , different researchers take different views within the discipline, and this means a wide range and different research is collected in this field of study.
. Sociolinguistic Researchers variationists william penelope interactional Jenny Cheshire Zimmerman and west
When is Sociolinguistics studied? • This timeline gives an overview of how the study sociolinguistics has developed over time.
Where is sociolinguistics studied? • Sociolinguistics has been studied at different times all around the world. Here is a snippet of its global profile. • INDIA When? 5 BCE, 500 CE What? Very early studies conducted on language variation in relation to society. • GERMANY When? Late 1800 s What? Dialectology research (differences in grammar and word pronunciation)
• AMERICA • When? 20 th century onwards • What? General development and expansion upon the view point that linguistic research should focus on actual language productions (performance) of the speaker. • Who? Key researchers behind interaction sociolinguistics, John J. Gumperz and Dell Hymes produced their pivotal paper 'Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnography of Communication' in 1972.  • But. . . the main researcher in America, and the name you'll hear the most in this topic is. . . • William Labov. He worked on variationist sociolinguistics in the USA, looking into phonological (pronounciations or accents) variation and how this played out in relation to society. In 1963 Labov looked at variation in Martha's Vineyard and this study became the fundamental, groundbreaking study in sociolinguistics. • Labov's influence has encouraged many other academics from the US to undertake work in the field, including Penelope Eckert.
Why is Sociolinguistics studied? • Paul Cooper, Ph. D Student in Socioliguistics from The University of Sheffield explains his top 5 reasons why sociolinguistics is useful and why we study it.
• • • Sociolinguistics is interested in explaining reasons for speaking differently in different social situations It also looks at how language is used to convey a social meaning Due to its constant use, either spoken or written, it is important to understand behaviour and attitudes towards language Behaviour towards language is a concern shared on an international level by political and educational leaders, as well as the general public, so sociolinguistics is often seen in the headlines. Welsh nationalists covering up English signs along Welsh roads is a real-life example of attitudes and behaviour towards languages and their users. Sociolinguistics became more applicable to the interest of the ordinary person in the 1960 s when linguists, focusing in the sociolinguistic field, turned their attention to language variation.
• The Media The media's promotion of sociolinguistics creates a buzz of interest around the topic Public take an interest into sociolinguistics An example of this is an interest in accents used in broadcasting, including the move from Received Pronunciation to a variety of accents and dialects in television broadcasting.
• Real People • Sociolinguistics is now a recognized part of 'linguistics' and 'language' modules in most courses at university level • Language is an important means of establishing and maintaining relationships • It provides a way for humans to subconsciously read their peers • Examining the way in which people use language in different social contexts can begin to explain how language works and the workings of social relationships in a community. • The consideration of spoken communication enables a student of sociolinguistics to discover certain information about the speaker from their language, without direct questioning, this includes sex, approximate age, regional and ethnic origins, level of education and their attitude to the listener • Further to this, the study of language and identity, an aspect of sociolinguistics, allows the application of sociolinguistics to everyday life
The Sociolinguistic Variable • "It begins with the simple act of noticing a variation - that there are two alternative ways of saying the same thing"  • Labov's quote here is pretty self-explanatory of what sociolinguistic variation is: it is simply different words, sounds and language people use to explain the same thing. • These variants (different ways/ 'realisations' of saying the same thing) can be lexical (words) or phonetic (sounds of the letters in the word).
• What sociolinguistics are interested in is seeing which variants are used, and deemed more appropriate for use, in certain social contexts.
• THANK YOU and SEE you NEXT • K. T. KHADER