Instructor:  Prof. Alicia Beckford Wassink   

Classroom:  JHN 022

Email:  wassink@u.washington.edu

Meeting time: TTh 1:30-3:20

Office:  PDL 217

 

Office Hours:  T 10:30-11:30am, and by appointment (with sufficient notice) 

Canvas site:    https://uw.instructure.com/courses/793249

Tegrity (for recorded lectures and slides): uw.tegrity.com

Course prerequisites:  LING 200, 400, or equivalent.  Recommended:  LING 450.

                                   

 

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Within the field of linguistics, Sociolinguistics is the subfield that investigates the relationships between language variation and social structure.  In this course, students will learn how sociolinguistic research is conducted and will become familiar with the major findings of research studies that have examined these relationships. The course will focus largely (but not exclusively) on quantitative methods developed in the tradition of variationist sociolinguistics, pioneered by William Labov, that are designed to reveal the way language change is rooted in synchronic variation. The class will study reports of research focusing variously on everyday social interaction, on larger scale patterns of social dialect variation. Relationships between language and social class, language and gender, and language and ethnicity will be discussed. Other topics covered will be language and style, and larger-scale social, educational, and political issues associated with the process of language standardization.

 

Other courses in the Sociolinguistics sequence:

note: LING532 is a prerequisite for all of the below:

LING 533

LING 534 Sociolinguistic Applications of Social Network Theory

LING 535 Advanced Sociolinguistics

 

Learning Objectives:

All students will:

 

COURSE REQUIREMENTS

You are expected to do all readings before class in order to facilitate discussion and give you time to ask any questions you may have.  You are also expected to check Canvas (or ensure you have notifications activated so these are sent to your email account) in order to keep up with any announcements or reminders that I may post.  Please bring your notes and any other materials you may need with you to class.  Cell phones and laptops should remain off during class (see Fried 2008 in Computers and Education).  If for some reason you must show up to class late, please be as quiet as possible out of respect for your fellow students.  If you are absent, it is up to you to contact another student to find out what you have missed.

             

Required Work:

Overview:

432

532

Daily Readings

not assessed for grade

not assessed for grade

Reading Responses & Article Presentation

-

20%

Homework

30%

30%

Classroom Participation

10%

-

Quizzes

20%

20%

Research Project

30%

30%

Sociolinguist Trading Cards

10%

-

TOTAL:

100%

100%

 

 

 

extra credit (assessed toward final grade):

 

+2 points

+2 points

 

1.  Daily Readings

 

2.  Homework – 30% (due in Canvas by classtime)

 

3.  Reading Response & Article Presentation (532 only) – 20%

LING/ANTH532 students (individually or in groups) select one report of original research on which to present in class, from the “532 ONLY” column in the syllabus.  One week prior to this presentation, presenters complete a reading response to focus their reading and provide them an opportunity to summarize the key concepts in the article.  (Create a date for this on your personal calendar!)

Š    Readings may be extensive and complex. Start early to give yourself time to fully digest the material.

Š    Use office hours to discuss the article content, and locate any additional readings that might help you interpret research methods and findings.

Š    Remember that your classmates will be held responsible for your presentation content (in quizzes).  Make certain you incorporate concepts from lecture, and relate your discussion to other class readings.

Š    Ask classmates to critically consider, with you, the strengths and weaknesses of your study. Continue this discussion online in a Canvas discussion thread.

 

4. Classroom Participation (432 only)– 10%

 

 

5.  Quizzes – 20%

 

6.  Research Project – 30% (Milestones are due in Canvas by 5pm on listed dates)

 

7. Sociolinguist Trading Cards Project (432 only) – 10%

 

Extra credit – Upto ½ letter grade will be added to the final grade for any student who locates a sociolinguistic variable in the media (including current events, news and online or text sources).  They may add a discussion thread to the Canvas site, including a link to the online or news article that is the source of their information.  In 1-2 paragraphs, the student must:

            1. Name the sociolinguistic variable, and its linguistic variants.

            2. Indicate the level of the grammar in which it operates.

            3. Report on the status of scholarly research into that variable (who has

            studied it? How has it been investigated? What is its history?)

 

STRATEGIES FOR SUCCESS

1. The most successful students in this course:

 

 

Course Policies and Expectations:

Prerequisites:  Students enrolled in this course must have taken LING200, LING400 (for linguistics majors) or equivalent (see instructor). It is also recommended that students have taken LING450.

 

Disability Accommodation:  It is my goal to ensure that our learning environment is accessible to everyone. To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact Disabled Student Services, 448 Schmitz, 543-8924.  If you have a letter from DDS indicating that you have a disability that requires special academic accommodations, please present the letter to me as soon as possible so we can discuss what accommodations you might need.

 

Academic integrity: Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic ethics, honesty and integrity. Academic misconduct includes (but is not limited to) plagiarism, harassment, cheating, or representing another person’s work as your own and will not be tolerated. It is your responsibility to read and understand the University’s expectations in this regard (which you can find online at http://www.washington.edu/students/handbook/conduct.html). Any student found to be in violation of proper academic conduct will be dealt with in the strictest manner in accordance with University policy. 

 

Email: I will attempt to respond to email inquiries within 24 hours (excepting weekends and holidays).  Materials to be emailed for in-class presentations MUST not be sent at the last-minute. Allow 24 hours for me to review and respond to these emails.

 

Student responsibilities:

1.           If you must miss a lecture or a section it is your responsibility to obtain the information you missed. 

2.          The tests and assignment dates are not negotiable excepting for a university-sanctioned absence.  Please see the University Handbook on excused absences. 

 


 

Laptop computers and Cell phones:

1.  Laptop computers may be used in class only for note-taking.  Laptops are only allowed in the last row of the classroom.  First-come; first served.  Bring a notebook in case all seats are taken and you must sit elsewhere.   Staying in the last row does not ensure a student will get to keep using the laptop, however. If there is any appearance that the student is using the laptop for something other than taking notes on lecture, he or she will be asked to close the laptop and take written notes.  Googling on course topics is great; but this will be done during mid-class break and not during lecture.

2.          A student who is doing non-class related activities on his or her computer is not only hurting his or her own education, but possibly the educational experience of many others in the class: research has shown that a game or a picture on a laptop distracts not only the student using the computer but also those students nearby (Yamamoto 2007, Fried 2008).  Therefore the use of laptops for non-class activity (e.g. email, games, web-surfing) is prohibited.  Students using their laptop for non-class activity will be asked to turn off their laptop.

3.          Cell phones are to stowed (not on the desk or table), and must be on vibrate. Checking to see if someone texted you takes your attention away from course content. It can wait till the mid-class break.

4.        Laptops and cell phones aside, there are MANY other ways to be distracted in class:  reviewing flash cards for a language class, notes for a quiz next period, knitting.  There is zero tolerance for these in class. 

5.          Read this: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/college-inc/2010/03/laptops_in_class_have_we_creat.html

 

 

Grading Policy

The following UW grading scale will be used:

  Percent  = Grade

   ≥ 95%   =    4.0           88  =    3.3          81  =    2.6           74  =    1.9              67  =    1.2

94     =    3.9           87  =    3.2          80  =    2.5           73  =    1.8              66  =    1.1

93     =    3.8           86  =    3.1          79  =    2.4           72  =    1.7              65  =    1.0

92     =    3.7           85  =    3.0          78  =    2.3           71  =    1.6              64  =    .9

91     =    3.6           84  =    2.9          77  =    2.2           70  =    1.5              63  =    .8

90     =    3.5           83  =    2.8          76  =    2.1           69  =    1.4              62  =    .7

89     =    3.4           82  =    2.7          75  =    2.0           68  =    1.3              <.7 =  failing

 

Note:  It is university policy that I cannot discuss your grades over email.  If you would like to talk about your grades, you are welcome to come to my office hours or see me after class.

 

Academic Integrity:

Students are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic ethics, honesty and integrity. Academic misconduct includes (but is not limited to) plagiarism, harassment, cheating, or representing another person’s work as your own and will not be tolerated. It is your responsibility to read and understand the University’s expectations in this regard (which you can find online at:

http://www.washington.edu/students/handbook/conduct.html).

Any student found to be in violation of proper academic conduct will be dealt with in the strictest manner in accordance with University policy.

 

 


Reading Schedule

 

Readings are to be done by the date listed (so they may be discussed in that class).

[#] indicates the number of pages of required reading for a given day to help you plan your reading time.

 

Wk

Day

Topic

Readings (All Sections)

Student Work

(432 and 532)

Graduate Sections ONLY (532)

1

T Jan 8

Introduction and orientation, aims and scope.

Chambers 1-11 [11] (to do after class, in this case)

 

 

Th Jan 10

Sociolinguistics and adjacent fields; language as emblematic

Chambers 11-26, Coulmas 2001 [33]

Handouts:

inductive vs. deductive reasoning

 

2

T Jan 15

Methods and goals; the 'linguistic variable'; research questions; study of variation and linguistic theory

Chambers 26-38, Labov (1972c) ("Study of language in its social context," pgs. 283-298) [27]

Sign up for TC presentations

Sign up for article presentations

Th  Jan 17

Style and Register Variation

N. Coupland 2001, Language, situation and the relational self

Eckert 2004 The meaning of style

 

 

3

T Jan 22

Speaker variable I:

social class

Chambers 39-59 [20]

Milestone 1 Due

 

Th Jan 24

Social class, cont.

Labov (1972b) ("Social stratification of (r)") [27]

Homework 1 Due

 

4

T Jan 29

Speaker variable II: social network

Chambers 74-115 [41]

Quiz 1

 

Th Jan 31

Social network, cont.

Labov (1972a) ("Linguistic consequences…" pgs. 255-267) [12]

 

 

5

T Feb 5

Social network, cont.

Milroy & Milroy (1978)  [18]

Article Presentation:  Milroy & Milroy

Milestone 2 Due

 

Th Feb 7

Speaker variable III: Gender, interactions between independent variables

Cheshire (2004) [18]

 

 

6

T Feb 12

Gender, cont.

Eckert (1998) [11]

Homework 2 Due

 

Th Feb 14

Gender, cont.

 

 

Article Presentation:  Gal (1978) [15]

7

T Feb 19

Speaker variable IV: Age

Llamas (2007), Roberts (2004) [22]

 

Article Presentation: Sankoff & Blondeau (2007) [30]

Th Feb 21

Speaker variable V: Geographic mobility and dialect contact

 

 

 

8

T Feb 26

Geographic mobility, cont.

Chambers 59-74, Tuten (2007) [21]

 

Article Presentation: Payne (1980) [20]

Th Feb 28

Geographic mobility, cont.

 

Quiz 2

 

 

9

T Mar 5

Dialect variation and language ideology: prescriptivism and language policy; linguistic prestige; 'Standard' and 'Non-standard' varieties

Preston (1986) [34] Milroy (2007) [6], Bello (1847) [10]

 

Article Presentation Preston,

Milestone 3 Due

 

Th Mar 7

North America's regional, ethnic, and social dialects

Wolfram & Schilling-Estes (1998) [31]

 

Presentation:

Hazen et al. (2011) [30]

10

T Mar 12

Ethnicity:   The case of African American English (AAE)

Wolfram (1998a) (“Language Ideology and Dialect”) [14], Smitherman (1998)  [10]

 

 

Th Mar 14

Ethnicity:  Structure and origins of AAE; Ethnicity:  Housing discrimination

Rickford & Rickford (2000) [32];

 

(optional: Wolfram (1998b) ("Scrutinizing Linguistic Gratuity") [8])

Homework 3 due

Article Presentation:

Purnell, Idsardi, and Baugh (1999) [20]

11

FRIDAY MAR 22

FINAL PAPERS  (Milestone 4) DUE in Canvas on Friday, March 22, 2012, 4:20 pm

 

 

 


Full References for Readings:

Bell, A.  (1984)  Language style as audience design.  In Coupland, N. and A. Jaworski  (1997, eds.)  Sociolinguistics:  a reader and coursebook, pp. 240-50.  New York:  St. Martin’s Press Inc.

Bell, A.  (2007)  Style and the linguistic repertoire.  In Llamas, Carmen, Mullany, Louise, and Stockwell, Peter (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics, pp. 95-100.  London:  Routledge.

Bello, A.  (1847)  Prologue:  Grammar of the Spanish Language.  In López-Morillas, F.M. (1997, ed.)  Selected writings of Andrés Bello.  London:  Oxford University Press.

Chambers, J.K.  (2002)  Sociolinguistic Theory.  Malden, MA:  Blackwell.

Cheshire, Jenny.  (2004)  Sex and Gender in Variationist Research.  In Chambers, J.K.,   Trudgill, Peter, and Schilling-Estes, Natalie (eds.) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change, pp. 423-443.  Malden, MA:  Blackwell.

Coulmas, Florian.  (2001)  Sociolinguistics.  In Aronoff, Mark and Rees-Miller, Janie (eds.) The Handbook of Linguistics, pp. 563-581.  Malden, MA:  Blackwell.

Coupland, N. (2001) Language, situation and the relational self: theorizing dialect-style in sociolinguistics.  In P. Eckert and J. Rickford (eds) Style and Sociolinguistic Variation.  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  pp. 185-210.

Eckert, Penelope. (2004.) The meaning of style. in Wai-Fong Chiang, Elaine Chun, Laura Mahalingappa, Siri Mehus eds. Salsa 11. Texas Linguistics Forum. 47

Eckert, P.  (1998)  Gender and sociolinguistic variation.  In Coates, J. (ed.) Language and Gender:  a reader.  Oxford, UK:  Blackwell, pp. 64-75.

Fasold, R.  (1993)  Address Forms, The sociolinguistics of language, ch 1.  Oxford, UK:  Blackwell, pp. 1-38.

Gal, S.  (1978)  Peasant men can’t get wives:  language change and sex roles in a bilingual community, Language in Society, 7(1), pp. 1-16.

Hazen, K., Hamilton, S. and Vacovsky, S. (2011) The fall of demonstrative them: evidence from Appalachia. English World-Wide 32:1, pp. 74-103.

Labov, W.  (1972a)  The linguistic consequences of being a lame, Language in the inner city, ch. 7.  Philadelphia:  U Pennsylvania, pp. 255-292.

Labov, W.  (1972b) The social stratification of (r) in New York City department stores.  In Sociolinguistic Patterns.  Philadelphia:  U Pennsylvania, pp. 43-69.

Labov, W.  (1972c) The study of language in its social context.  In Giglioli, P.P. (ed.) Language and Social Context.  Harmondsworth:  Penguin, pp. 283-98.

Llamas, Carmen.  (2007)  Age.  In Llamas, Carmen, Mullany, Louise, and Stockwell, Peter (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics, pp. 69-76.  London:  Routledge.

Milroy, James.  (2007)  The ideology of the standard language.  In Llamas, Carmen, Mullany, Louise, and Stockwell, Peter (eds.) The Routledge Companion to      Sociolinguistics, pp. 133-139.  London:  Routledge.

Milroy, J. and Milroy, L.  (1978)  Belfast:  Change and variation in an urban vernacular.    In P. Trudgill, (ed.), Sociolinguistic patterns in British English.  London:  Edward Arnold, pp. 19-36.

Payne, Arvilla C. (1980) Factors controlling the acquisition of the Philadelphia dialect by out-of-state children. In Labov, W. Locating Language in Time and Space. New York: Academic Press

Preston, D.R.  (1986)  Five visions of America.  Language in Society, 15(2), pp. 221-240.

Purnell, T., Idsardi, W., and Baugh, J.  (1999)  Perceptual and phonetic experiments on American English dialect identification, Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 18(1), pp. 10-30.

Rickford, J.R. and Rickford, R.J.  (2000)  History. Spoken Soul:  the story of Black English.  New York:  John Wiley and Sons, pp. 129-160.

Roberts, Julie.  (2004)  Child language variation.  In Chambers, J.K., Trudgill, Peter, and Schilling-Estes, Natalie (eds.) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change,          pp. 333-348.  Malden, MA:  Blackwell.

Sankoff, Gillian & Blondeau, Hélene (2007). Language change across the lifespan: /r/ in Montreal French.  Language 83:3, pp. 560-588.

Smitherman, G.  (1998)  Ebonics, King, and Oakland:  Some folk don’t believe fat meat is greasy, Journal of English Linguistics, 26(2), pp. 97-107.

Tuten, Donald N.  (2007)  Koineization.  In Llamas, Carmen, Mullany, Louise, and Stockwell, Peter (eds.) The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics, pp. 185-191.  London:  Routledge.

Wolfram, W.  (1998a)  Language ideology and dialect:  understanding the Ebonics controversy.  Journal of English Linguistics, 26(2), pp. 108-121.

Wolfram, W.  (1998b)  Scrutinizing linguistic gratuity:  issues from the field, Journal of Sociolinguistics, 2(2), pp. 271-279.

Wolfram, W., and Schilling-Estes, N.  (1998)  American English, ch. 4.  Dialects in the US:  past, present, and future.  Oxford, UK:  Blackwell, pp. 90-123.