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This course explores sociolinguistic variation, theory and research methodology. The course will generally include research-based analysis of New Zealand English, with access to the Origins of New Zealand English (ONZE) database.
Variation in language is not just random, but can be structured. This variation often leads to change, such that one generation of speakers can sound different from the next. This course explores linguistic variability and examines (a) how language varies according to a whole range of different factors (e.g. speaker gender and social class, and e.g. how the connections people can be correlated with particular linguistic forms), and (b) how language changes over time. For (b) we will compare the speech of older speakers with that of younger speakers, and we will also use archive data so we can go much further back in time. The course will include practical research-based analysis of New Zealand English, with access to the Origins of New Zealand English database.
By the end of the course, students will (1) understand how to collect variable language data (2) understand the principles underlying the transcription and coding of linguistic data, (3) be able to display complex data in tabular and graphical form, (4) be able to critically evaluate rival hypotheses regarding language variation and change, and (5) be able to convey key insights in variationist sociolinguistics to a non-specialist audience.
LING206 or LING207 or any two of LING215-LING217
Variationist Sociolinguistics: change, observation, interpretation;
Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2012.
Linguistic Variation and Change;
Edinborough University Press, 2011.
Library portalThe course outline is available on LEARN (only for students enrolled in this course).
Domestic fee $1,239.00
International fee $5,375.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
School of Languages and Cultures.