LINGUIST List 6.1139

Mon Aug 21 1995

Sum: Summary of sociolinguistics course syllabi

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  1. , Summary of sociolinguistics course syllabi

Message 1: Summary of sociolinguistics course syllabi

Date: Fri, 18 Aug 1995 14:38:12 Summary of sociolinguistics course syllabi
From: <sethMIT.EDU>
Subject: Summary of sociolinguistics course syllabi

Dear subscribers,

a shamefully long while back, I posted a request for syllabi for
sociolinguistics courses. Here, finally, is a summary of what I
received. Thanks to Kate Remlinger, Ellen L. Contini-Morava, and
Ronald Cosper for their responses, and apologies to everyone for the
tardiness of this posting.


Seth Minkoff


You might find the collection of syllabi published by COSWL (the Committee
on the Status of Women in Linguistics) helpful. I am not sure how to
obtain a copy. The LSA secretariat might be able to help.

Kathryn Remlinger

Department of Humanities
Michigan Technological Uuniversity
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
(906) 487-3274

Hello, here's a syllabus for a course I do at the Univ. of
Virginia. It's aimed at mid-level undergraduates, mostly but not
all anthropology majors, and usually students who have no
previous linguistics courses, averages about 60-70 students. I
would have sent the one from last spring but couldn't find the
file (my hard drive got eaten recently). There is one change
that will probably be permanent:

instead of Trudgill's textbook I've substituted Nancy Bonvillain,
Language, Culture, and Communication, Prentice Hall 1993. It's
more anthropologically oriented than Trudgill, who is of the
Labovian-sociological school; also Bonvillain includes some
rudimentary linguistics, useful for those who haven't had any.

Here it is. HOpe it's not too late to be useful.

With best regards,

Ellen Contini-Morava
Anthropology 341/741
Introduction to Sociolinguistics
Spring 1993

Instructor: Ellen Contini-Morava

Books (all required reading):

 Deborah Tannen, You just don't understand: women and men in
 conversation. Ballantine Books, 1990.

 Peter Trudgill, Sociolinguistics. Penguin, 1983. [TEXTBOOK]

 Martha Coonfield Ward, Them children: a study in language
 learning. University Press of America, 1971.

In addition to the above books, required readings will include a
packet of xeroxed articles available at Inprint on Elliewood

NOTE: one copy of each book, and one copy of the xeroxed packet,
will be placed on reserve in Clemons Library.


A mid-term and a final, both open-book, take-home essay question
exams, and a field project, whose topic and methodology should be
discussed with me BEFORE SPRING BREAK. The exams and the field
project will each count for one third of the final grade.

[741 students will write a research paper, approximately 20 pages
in length, in addition to the above requirements. The field
project may be incorporated into the paper, and the paper will
count for one half of the final grade.]

Course description:

 The field of sociolinguistics deals with ways in which
language serves to define and maintain group identity and social
relationships among speakers. Particular topics to be covered in
this course include:

I. Regional and social variation in language.

 How language reflects and maintains social stratification.
 The consequences of social attitudes toward linguistic
 features and the speakers associated with them. Standard and
 non-standard dialects.
II. Language and ethnicity.

 Language as a marker of ethnic identity. Controversies over
 "Black English": linguistic definition, social functions,
 history. Problems in interethnic communication. Language
 and ethnic diversity in the classroom.

III. Language, sex and gender.

 Do men and women speak different "languages"? What verbal and
 non-verbal features mark the sex of a speaker? Gender and
 communicative style. Representations of gender in
 advertising. Sexism and sex-stereotyping in language.

IV. Language and social context.

 Formal and informal speech styles: linguistic and social
 definitions. Reciprocal and non-reciprocal forms of address.
 Diglossia and bilingualism. The relation between means of
 expression and social meaning. Language, power, and

V. Languages in contact.

 Pidgin and creole languages: structure, origins and social
 functions. Political and social factors affecting language
 choice in multilingual or developing nations (including ours).
 The fate of minority languages in this and other countries.

VI. Applied sociolinguistics.

 Language planning: intervention in language change.
 Multilingualism and education. How language affects health
 care. Language in the courtroom. Language and mass media:
 the linguistic representation of "news".


Jan. 16 Preface.

1/21 Introduction.
 Trudgill ch. 1
 Wolfram, Walt, "Varieties of American English". From C. A.
 Ferguson and S. B. Heath (eds.) Language in the USA.
 Cambridge University Press 1981.

1/23 Language and social attitudes.
 Labov, William, "General attitudes toward the speech of New
 York City." From R.W. Bailey and J.L. Robinson (eds.),
 Varieties of present-day English. Macmillan, 1972.
 Underwood, Gary, "How you sound to an Arkansawyer". American
 Speech 49.3/4: 208-216 (1974).
1/28 Language and social class.
 Trudgill ch. 2
 Labov, William, "The logic of non-standard English".
 Georgetown Monographs in Languages and Linguistics No. 22

1/30 Language and ethnicity.
 Trudgill ch. 3
 Spears, A. "Black American English" In Jonetta Cole (ed.)
 Anthropology for the Nineties. New York: Free Press 1988.
 Stanback, M. "Language and Black Woman's Place: Evidence from
 the Black Middle Class". From P. Treichler, C. Kramarae, B.
 Stafford (eds.) For Alma Mater: Theory and Practice in
 Feminist Scholarship. Univ. of Illinois Press, 1985.

Feb. 4 Ethnicity and communicative style.
 Mitchell-Kernan, Claudia, "Signifying, loud-talking and
 marking". From Kochman, T. (ed.) Rappin' and stylin' out:
 communication in urban Black America. Univ. of Illinois
 Press, 1972.
 Schiffrin, Deborah, "Jewish argument as sociability".
 Language in Society 13:311-335, 1984.

2/6 Language, ethnicity and the classroom.
 Smitherman, Geneva, "Where do we go from here? T.C.B.!" From
 Talkin and testifyin: the language of Black America. Boston:
 Houghton Mifflin 1977.
 Philips, Susan U. "Participant structures and communicative
 competence: Warm Springs children in community and
 classroom." From C. Cazden, V. John and D. Hymes (eds.),
 Functions of language in the classroom. New York: Teachers
 College Press, 1972.

2/11 - 2/13 Ethnicity, social class, and language learning.
 Ward, Them Children (textbook).

2/18 - 2/20 Language and gender.
 Trudgill ch. 4
 Tannen, You Just Don't Understand (textbook).

2/25 Language and gender: cross-cultural perspectives.
 Keesing, R. "Kwaio women speak: the micropolitics of
 autobiography in a Solomon Island society". American
 Anthropologist 87.1 (1985) pp. 27-39.
 Keenan, Elinor Ochs, "Norm-makers, norm-breakers: uses of
 speech by men and women in a Malagasy community". In R.
 Bauman and J. Sherzer (eds.) Explorations in the Ethnography
 of Speaking. Cambridge University Press, 1974.

2/27 Sexism and sex-stereotyping in language.
 Schulz, M. "The semantic derogation of woman". In B. Thorne
 and N. Henley (eds.) Language and Sex: Difference and
 Dominance. Rowley, MA: Newbury House, 1975
 Satire, W. (alias W. Hofstadter), "A person paper on purity in
 language". Metamagical Themas. New York: Basic Books 1985.

 Ground rules for the exam:
 This is an open-book test, so texts and lecture notes may be
 consulted in preparing the answers, but the test may NOT be
 discussed with anyone. The test must be pledged, and returned
 to me AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS. Tests returned later than
 the deadline, left in my mailbox, under my door, on car
 windshield etc. WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED (i.e. will receive a
 grade of F). No time extensions except in (documented) cases
 of emergency, and only with permission from me IN PERSON.
 Leaving a message on my answering machine, office door, or
 with the department secretary does not guarantee that an
 extension will be granted.

Mar. 3 Language and social context, overview.
 Trudgill ch. 5.


3/5 Language and social context: theoretical perspectives.
 Hymes, Dell, "Models of the interaction of language and social
 life." From J. J. Gumperz and D. Hymes (eds.) Directions in
 Sociolinguistics. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972.

3/10 language/context: forms of address.
 E. Bates and L. Benigni, "Rules of address in Italy: a
 sociological survey". Language in Society 4.3 (1975), pp.


3/12 Language/context: choice of code.
 Ferguson, Charles, "Sports announcer talk". Language in
 Society 12:153-172, 1983.
 Abu-Lughod, L. "Honor and the sentiments of loss in a Bedouin
 society". American Ethnologist 12.2 (1985).

3/17 - 3/19 SPRING BREAK

3/24 Language/context: silence.
 Basso, Keith, "To give up on words: silence in Western Apache
 culture". Southwestern Journal of Anthropology 26:213-30,
 Sansom, B. "The sick who do not speak." In D. Parkin (ed.),
 Semantic Anthropology. Academic Press 1983.

3/26 Language/context: social norms.
 Goffman, Erving, "The lecture". From Forms of talk.
 University of Pennsylvania Press 1981.

3/31 Theoretical perspectives II.
 Trudgill ch. 6.
 Bernstein, Basil, "A sociolinguistic approach to
 socialization." From J. J. Gumperz and D. Hymes (eds.)
 Directions in Sociolinguistics. Holt, Rinehart and Winston,

Apr. 2 Languages in contact: bilingualism and multilingualism.
 Heller, Monica, "Bonjour, hello? Negotiations of language
 choice in Montreal." In Gumperz, J. (ed.) Communication,
 language and social identity. Cambridge University Press,
 Mkilifi, M.H.A. "Triglossia and Swahili-English bilingualism
 in Tanzania." Language in Society 1:197-213, 1972.

4/7 Languages in contact: pidgins and creoles.
 Trudgill ch. 8.
 Crowley, T. and B. Rigsby, "Cape York Creole". In T. Shopen
 (ed.), Languages and their status. Univ. of Pennsylvania
 Press, 1987.

4/9 Pidgins and creoles (cont.)
 Stewart, W. "Creole languages in the Caribbean". From Rice,
 F. A. (ed.) Study of the role of second languages in Asia,
 Africa, and Latin America. Washington, DC: Center for
 Applied Linguistics, 1962.
 Sistren with Honor Ford Smith, "Ole Massa and me". From
 Lionheart Gal. Sister Vision, Black Women and Women of Colour
 Press, Box 217, Station E, Toronto, Ontario, M6H 4E2, Canada.

4/14 Language dominance: native and immigrant languages in the US.
 Darnell, R. "The language of power in Cree interethnic
 communication." From Wolfson, N. and J. Manes (eds.),
 Language of inequality. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1985.
 Fishman, J. "The lively life of a 'dead' language (or
 'everyone knows that Yiddish died long ago')". From Wolfson
 and Manes (see preceding for full reference).

4/16 Applied sociolinguistics: language planning.
 Trudgill ch. 7.
 Ferguson, Charles, "On sociolinguistically oriented language
 surveys." From S. Ohannessian, C. Ferguson and E. Polom
 (eds.), Language surveys in developing nations. Washington,
 DC: Center for Applied Linguistics, 1975.

4/21 Applied sociolinguistics: language and inequality.
 Walker, A.G.H., "Applied sociology of language: vernacular
 languages and education." In P. Trudgill (ed.) Applied
 sociolinguistics. London; Orlando: Academic, 1984.
 Fisher, S. and A. Todd, "Friendly persuasion: negotiating
 decisions to use oral contraceptives". In Fisher and Todd
 (eds.) Discouse and institutional authority: medicine,
 education, and law. Norwood, NJ: Ablex 1986.

4/23 Language and inequality (cont.): the courts, the media.
 O'Barr, W. "Speech styles in the courtroom". From Linguistic
 evidence: language, power, and strategy in the courtroom.
 Academic Press, 1982.
 van Dijk, Teun, "Mediating racism: the role of the media in
 the reproduction of racism." In Ruth Wodak (ed.) Language,
 power, and ideology. John Benjamins, 1989.

4/28 Review, discussion, oral reports.

 FIELD PROJECTS DUE. (Same policy applies as for midterm, see

 to secretary in Anthropology Department office, 303 Brooks
 Hall. In other respects same policy applies as for midterm,
 see 2/27.=
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