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LN3503: LANGUAGE: VARIATION AND CHANGE (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07


Course Overview

All languages are in a perpetual state of flux. This flux – a combination of variation and change – is socially meaningful. Gender, ethnicity, age, social background, perhaps even sexuality, affect how you speak. From this flux comes a never-ending cycle of linguistic change, which is affected by social factors.

This course provides an understanding of Sociolinguistics – the study of social effects on language use – and Historical Linguistics – the study of how language changes over time. Besides developing a grounding in the theory and methodology of these interconnected subjects, you will engage in hands-on analysis of data.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Professor Robert Millar

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

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

All languages are in a perpetual state of flux. This flux – a combination of variation and change – is socially meaningful. Your gender, ethnicity, age, social background, perhaps even your sexuality, affect how you speak. From this flux comes change, the never-ending cycle of linguistic change. Again this change is affected by social factors, even if how they work upon a language has changed from time to time and place to place.

This course will give you a considerable understanding of Sociolinguistics – the study of social effects on language use – and Historical Linguistics – the study of how language changes over time, demonstrating how one subject interconnects with the other. As well as developing a grounding in the theory and methodology of these subjects, you will also take part in hands-on analysis of data.

Further Information & Notes

Admission subject to approval by the Head of School. The field work aspects of this course may pose difficulties to students with disabilities. For such students, alternative arrangements will be made available. Any student wishing to discuss this further should contact the School Disability Co-ordinator.


Contact Teaching Time

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

Teaching Breakdown

More Information about Week Numbers


Summative Assessments

First Attempt: Two 2,000-2,500 word essays (each worth 30% of the total mark); one 1,000-1,500 word analytical exercise (20% of the total mark); group presentation (10% of the total mark); seminar work (10%).
Resit: Examination (100%).

Formative Assessment

Students will be given the opportunity of finding out how well they have performed in seminars as an ongoing feature of the learning process.

Feedback

Formative assessment will be given to students individually on request.

Feedback on essays will be provided in writing on the essay cover sheet. Students will also be invited to discuss their performance with their tutor.
Both the Group Project and the Seminar Assessment Mark will be made available to students along with a generally brief written report from the tutor. Students will also be encouraged to speak with the tutor about this assessment.

Course Learning Outcomes

None.

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