Sociolinguistics challenges the asocial view of language as a homogeneous, autonomous system and argues, instead, that a theory of language (as a social phenomenon) must necessarily include the study of language in use. In everyday interactions, speakers routinely use language to send vital social messages about who we are, where we come from, and who we associate with. Also, we often infer another person's background, education, gender, ideology etc., simply on the basis of her/his use of linguistic varieties and forms —sometimes on just the choice of a single word. This course looks into the diverse uses of language as they vary with social parameters (e.g. time, geographical provenance, ethnicity, social class, age, gender, education). Topics include regional/social variation, borrowing and code-switching, communicative competence, speech events, politeness, attitudes to language, turn-taking, sociolinguistic variables etc. To this end, it offers an overview of different sociolinguistic paradigms such as Ethnography of Speaking, Conversation Analysis, Social Psychology of Language and Urban Dialectology.
•Encourage linguistic/cultural tolerance Assessment methods: Written final exam
Note: This course is a prerequisite for Ling2-491E