Courses / Modules / LING3016 Meaning and Structure in Sociolinguistics

Meaning and Structure in Sociolinguistics

When you'll study it
Semester 2
CATS points
ECTS points
Level 6
Module lead
Matthew Hunt
Academic year

Module overview

This module will introduce you to examples of sociolinguistic variation that occur in morpho-syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. We will examine the status of the sociolinguistic variable – which has historically focused on phonological variation – and think critically about if and how variation in other domains can analysed using the variationist framework; this will involve looking at case studies, language experiments, and theoretical analyses. We will investigate the formal linguistic properties of words and structures from each of these domains, including determiners, demonstratives, intensifiers, aspect, adverbs, and expressives. We will look at how the use of such phenomena can change. We will also examine how they can be utilised and interpreted in political and legal contexts. Our discussion will address some of the real-world consequences of language variation in these domains, including cases where people’s lives have depended on linguistic interpretation.