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Advanced study of aspects of the use of language in social contexts.
Until relatively recently, the points at which those interested in linguistic variation and those interested in linguistic theory had crossed paths over the course of their respective histories were fairly minimal. In the first part of this course, we explore reasons for this separation in early linguistic theory and then consider the merits and consequences of more recent efforts to synthesise work on language variation with work on (both generative and usage-based) linguistic theory. Of course, sociolinguistics is not ‘theory-free’ and a great deal of work in sociolinguistics has incorporated insights from theoretical advancements within the variationist tradition, sociology and social psychology. Later in the course, we therefore explore the connections between studies of language variation and social theory. In this course, we consider both variation and theory in the broadest possible sense, drawing examples from studies of synchronic and diachronic variation and change, at all levels of the grammar, and connecting with a range of different theoretical frameworks.
By the end of the course, students will: - Understand the central principles of several main theoretical frameworks used in linguistics- Follow arguments and offer your own opinions on current linguistics debates- Have read a variety of key texts dealing with variation in Linguistic theoryAs a student in this course you will not only acquire subject specific skills, you will also acquire a number of transferrable skills. For example, by the end of this course you will be able to... - Read critically and objectively- Learn to write a response to academic literature- Write a research proposal - Engage with research that is presented orally in a research seminar format
Subject to approval of the Head of Department.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
There is no required textbook for this course. Essential readings will be assigned each week and posted on Learn but students working at this level are expected to supplement this with their own reading.
Domestic fee $1,847.00
International Postgraduate fees
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences.