Language and Linguistics
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
11 April 2022
Requisites for this module
MRESQ14512 Analysing Language Use
This module provides an overview of variationist sociolinguistic theory and findings, which focus on exploring social and linguistic constraints on variation in addition to addressing contemporary variationist theoretical challenges.
The module will introduce various approaches to theorising, analysing and interpreting sociolinguistic data vis-à-vis language variation and change (LVC) and social identity.
In this module you will gain an understanding of:
• the principles underlying the variationist perspective of language variation and change with an emphasis on external social and internal linguistic factors which mediate variation and change
• the ways in which linguistic theory intersects with, and is complemented by sociolinguistic data and theorising
• the main research questions, concepts, premises and data foci within variationist LVC research
One 2hr lecture/discussion per week for 10 weeks
Labov, W. (1963) ‘The Social Motivation of a Sound Change’, WORD
, 19(3), pp. 273–309. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/00437956.1963.11659799
Wagner, S.E. (no date) ‘Age Grading in Sociolinguistic Theory’, Language and Linguistics Compass
. Edited by E. Battistella and N. Schilling, 6(6), pp. 371–382. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/lnc3.343
Cukor-Avila, P. and Bailey, G. (2013) ‘Real Time and Apparent Time’, in J.K. Chambers and N. Schilling (eds) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change
. 2nd edn. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 237–262. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118335598.ch11
Eckert, P. (1997) ‘Age as a Sociolinguistic Variable’, in F. Coulmas (ed.) The Handbook of Sociolinguistics
. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 151–167. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781405166256.ch9
King, R. (2013) ‘Morphosyntactic Variation’, in R. Bayley, R. Cameron, and C. Lucas (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Sociolinguistics
. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, pp. 445–465. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199744084.013.0022
Milroy, L. and Gordon, M.J. (2003) ‘Investigating Phonological Variation’, in Sociolinguistics: method and interpretation
. Malden, US: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 136–168. Available at: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=231485&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_136
Cheshire, J. (2002) ‘Sex and Gender in Variationist Research’, in The Handbook of Language Variation and Change
. 1st edn. Malden, US: Blackwell Publishers, pp. 423–443. Available at: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=90398&site=ehost-live&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_423
Chambers, J.K. (2009b) ‘Expressing Sex and Gender’, in Sociolinguistic Theory: Linguistic Variation and its Social Significance. 3rd edn. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 115–158.
Milroy, L. and Milroy, J. (no date) ‘Social Network and Social Class: Toward an Integrated Sociolinguistic Model’, Language in Society
, 21(1), pp. 1–26. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500015013
Ash, S. (2013) ‘Social Class’, in The Handbook of Language Variation and Change
. 2nd edn. Malden, US: Wiley Blackwell, pp. 350–367. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118335598.ch16
Meyerhoff, M. (2019) ‘Social Networks and Communities of Practice’, in Introducing Sociolinguistics
. 3rd edn. Abingdon, UK: Routledge, pp. 206–225. Available at: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1875703&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_206
Allan Bell (no date) ‘Language Style as Audience Design’, Language in Society
, 13(2), pp. 145–204. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S004740450001037X
Sharma, D. (no date) ‘Style Repertoire and Social Change in British Asian English’, Journal of Sociolinguistics
, 15(4), pp. 464–492. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2011.00503.x
Eckert, P. and McConnell-Ginet, S. (no date) ‘Think Practically and Look Locally: Language and Gender as Community-Based Practice’, Annual Review of Anthropology
, 21(1), pp. 461–488. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.an.21.100192.002333
Sankoff, G. (2004) ‘Adolescents, young adults and the critical period: two case studies from "Seven Up”’, in Sociolinguistic variation: critical reflections
. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 121–139. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/universityofessex-ebooks/reader.action?docID=4702664&ppg=138
Thomason, S. (no date) ‘Social and linguistic factors as predictors of contact-induced change.’, Journal of Language Contact
, 2(1), pp. 42–56. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1163/000000008792525381
Kerswill, P. and Williams, A. (no date) ‘Creating a New Town Koine: Children and language change in Milton Keynes’, Language in Society
. Edited by S. Ehrlich and T. Milani, 29(1), pp. 65–115. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500001020
Tridgill, P. (2006) New-Dialect Formation: The Inevitability of Colonial Englishes
. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Available at: https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/universityofessex-ebooks/detail.action?pq-origsite=primo&docID=275805
Boberg, C., Nerbonne, J.A. and Watt, D.J.L. (eds) (2018) The handbook of dialectology
. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. Available at: https://onlinelibrary-wiley-com.uniessexlib.idm.oclc.org/doi/book/10.1002/9781118827628
Wer, E. Al- (2020) ‘New-Dialect Formation: The Amman dialect’, in C. Lucas and S. Manfredi (eds) Arabic and Contact-Induced Change
. Berlin, DE: Language Science Press, pp. 551–566. Available at: https://directory.doabooks.org/handle/20.500.12854/27161
The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list
Assessment items, weightings and deadlines
|Coursework / exam
||Essay or Small Project
Additional coursework information
Exam format definitions
- Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
- In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
- In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary,
for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.
Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Prof Enam Al-Wer, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr Vivienne Esther Rogers
Available via Moodle
Of 16 hours, 16 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.
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