This module takes an empirical approach to questions such as:
- Are there patterns of speech and language associated with males and females in varieties of English?
- What is the role of teenagers in the propagation of change in English?
- After a certain age are our accents ‘set’ or can we change over our lifespans?
- How do migration and language contact lead to the birth of new English dialects?
The module provides a comprehensive introduction to the sociolinguistic paradigm – the quantitative approach to linguistic variation. Through reference to seminal studies, as well as recent advances in the field, we examine how social factors such as age, gender, ethnicity and social network etc. impact on patterns of variation and change in English.