M.Litt. in English Language and Linguistics

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Sociolinguistics
and Varieties of English

In this module, students investigate language in its social context, by exploring the many regional and social varieties of English, language use across different contexts, and the multi-faceted relationships between language, culture and society.


We take examples from English and from a range of other languages, extracting the basic principles that underlie language choice and language change as it is influenced by society. Students are encouraged to examine language use as it occurs around them, employing the conceptual tools and linguistic frameworks encountered on the core modules, Linguistic Structures and Linguistic Contexts, to describe a range of different kinds of variation and related social structures.


The module will address topics considered central to Sociolinguistics: Variation (Dialectology and Register), Language Planning and Policy (in relation to Standardisation, Language Change and Endangered Languages), Language Contact (including Pidgins and Creoles), and Language and Identity (including a focus on Language and Gender, and Communities of Practice).


Available as an option module in Spring 2016. Module convenor: Bethan Benwell.