LING 407/507: Language Variation
Instructor G. Tucker Childs
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the facts of language variation and the explanations that have been advanced to account for that variation. Crucial to the course is observing how people actually use language, rather than viewing language as an autonomous entity. Language varieties function beyond the conveying of simple denotative meaning; the use of a linguistic variety (or multiple varieties) and variants within a variety can say much about an individual, that individual's social identity, etc. It is the psychological, cultural, and social meaning of language as correlated with linguistic variants that we will consider to be primary. The course should appeal to anyone interested in why people talk the way they do.
Textbooks: Chambers, J. K., Trudgill, Peter, and Schilling-Estes, Natalie eds. 2001. The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Malden, MA and Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
Chambers, J.K. 2003. Sociolinguistic Theory, Linguistic Variation and Its Social Significance (2nd ed). Cambridge, MA and Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
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