LSA 316: Sociolinguistics of variation

Dennis R. Preston | six-week course | TuTh 3:30 – 5:15, 155 Donner Lab

One backbone of sociolinguistics is language variation. This course will examine the facts of variation across such continua and distinctions as age, ethnicity, region, gender, sex, status, and communities of practice, and that examination will attend to linguistic levels (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics) as well as to such perspectives as change, production, comprehension, and attitude. In addition, there will be some focus on the psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic repercussions of variation in the individual — are there many grammars or, in some cases, only one with alternatives?

Reading: Miriam Meyerhoff, Introducing Sociolinguistics and selected materials available online.

Prerequisites: A general introduction to linguistics is essential.

Areas of linguistics: Sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology

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