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LN4003: THE SOCIOLOGY OF LANGUAGE (2017-2018)

Last modified: 25 May 2018 11:16


Course Overview

 

What language variety we use, what language variety we are allowed to use, affects our position in society. While democracy theoretically guarantees equality, social elites use language to maintain their position in society. Anyone using a rural dialect will at best be treated with condescension; anyone using an urban dialect may be seen as threatening. That said, empowering people to write in their own language helps speakers join a digital world beyond their immediate experience. This course is concerned with various macrosociolinguistic topics: language policy and planning; language and dialect; language and the nation state; language maintenance and language shift.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 4
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor Robert Millar

Qualification Prerequisites

  • Programme Level 4

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Language And Linguistics (LN) (Studied)
  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

What language variety we use, what language variety we are allowed to use, affects our position in society. While democracy in theory guarantees equality, social elites use language as a means of maintaining their position in society. Anyone who uses a rural dialect will at best be treated with condescension; anyone who uses an urban dialect may be seen as a threat. On the other hand, empowering people to use their own language in writing helps speakers become a part of a digital world beyond their immediate experience.

This course is concerned with a range of macrosociolinguistic topics: language policy and planning; language and dialect; language and the nation state; language maintenance and language shift. Students who take this course will build a sense of linguistic understanding which will inevitably lead to greater tolerance and desire for linguistic democracy. Given how important language policy is becoming in Scotland and elsewhere, this course may also mark the beginning of the possibility of employment in that and related fields.


Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

None.

More Information about Week Numbers


Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: Two essays of 3,000 words each (80%); Seminar Assessment Mark (SAM) (20%) Resit: For honours students only: candidates achieving a CAS mark of 6-8 may be awarded compensatory level 1 credit. Candidates achieving a CAS mark of less than 6 will be required to submit a new essay.

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment will be given in particular through discussion of seminar topics and seminar performance, both as a group and individually (the latter by request). Formative assessment is also provided both in the written comments given on the essay and in individual discussion with the tutor (normally by request).

Feedback

Formative assessment will be given in discussion of both seminar performance and written work, individually by request. Summative assessment will be provided through the two essays and the final Seminar Assessment Mark.

Course Learning Outcomes

None.

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