Language Variation Across Space and Time

15 points

Not offered 2022, offered in 2015, 2016, 2017

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences


Languages are not fixed; they vary across physical and social space and change over generations. These patterns of variation and change can be understood by studying the linguistic and social factors which affect language use. This course is an introduction to the sociolinguistic study of language variation and change. We examine how language varies both across individuals (e.g. according to a speaker's regional origin, gender, social class, ethnicity and age) and within individuals (e.g. how speakers adjust their language in different contexts depending on the social message they want to convey). Our consideration will include a detailed study of patterns of language change, with attention to changes currently taking place in English and other languages around the world.



LING203, LING210

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