Topics covered include:

  • The historical development of sociolinguistics as a discipline
  • Language variation and change
  • Language choice and multilingualism (code-switching, polylanguaging)
  • Pidgins and creoles
  • Linguistic landscapes
  • Linguistic diversity and language death
  • Language attitudes and social inequalities
  • Language and discrimination
  • Language and identity
  • Language policy and planning




The goals of this course are three-fold. First, students will be introduced to the fundamentals of sociolinguistics (key terms, major concepts and sociolinguistic methodology), enabling them to understand the aims and historical development of the discipline. Second, students will be trained to analyse sociolinguistic studies, both old and new, and engage in critical thinking about the process of scholarly research. Students will also be encouraged to explore the connections between the discipline and their world, and build awareness of power and discrimination issues related to language use globally as well as in specific contexts.




Final essay or research project: 50%
In-class assignments and reflection: 40%
Tutorial contribution and participation: 10% 





Readings will be assigned from a variety of books and journal articles, including selections from:
Mesthrie, Rajend, Joan Swann, Ana Deumert and William L. Leap. 2009. Introducing Sociolinguistics, 2nd ed. Edinburgh University Press.
Meyerhoff, Miriam. 2011. Introducing Sociolinguistics, 2nd ed. Routledge.
Numerous texts will also be made available on the Moodle platform throughout the term.



Last updated: 8 January 2018