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Language in Social Interaction I
Yoshihiko ASAO Lecturer
Department: School of Letters / Graduate School of Letters
|Class Time:||2015 Spring Monday|
|Recommended for:||School of Letters, 2nd year students or more
Others, 3rd year students or more
Outline of the course
Our course loosely follows the structure of the textbook, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. You should read the textbook chapters by the date indicated in the schedule.
The first half of the course is more about macro-level phenomena, such as multilingual societies, dialects, and language change. The second half of the course is more about micro-level issues, i.e. how people behave in each communication setting, although these two aspects of language are closely related.
As a G30 class where Japanese and international students work together, class topics are taken from both English and Japanese so that students with different backgrounds can find their own familiar examples. Students are also encouraged to discuss cultural differences in class. Besides, because the course has a broad coverage, we not just overviews the field, but also invites guest speakers so that students can see how research is conducted in reality in a variety of subfields.
Goal of the course
The goal of this course is to learn the basics of sociolinguistics, with an emphasis on sociolinguistic issues in Japan and/or the Japanese language. It aims to better understand the linguistic diversity of the world and its relation to society and culture. Some illustrative questions we will address in class are below:
- How do we use different languages, or different styles of the same language (e.g. polite vs. plain) in different situations?
- How do we use words to achieve our goals? How can we guess an intended meaning in conversation?
- Which language should have an official status? Should we save dying languages?
- Culture determines language, language determines culture, both, or neither?
- Holmes (2013) An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. (4th edition)
Copies are available at the NU co-op or online stores.
- Turn your cellphone to the silent mode.
- If you are absent from the classroom for more than one third of a class, the instructor reserves the right to reduce your attendance points.
The schedule is subject to minor changes; check the website to see updates.
|Apr 20||Multilingualism and diglossia||Ch 1, 2|
|Apr 27||Guest talk 1: Masahiro YAMADA (Kyoto U) |
Documentation and revitalization of endangered languages
|May 11||Birth and death of languages||Ch 3, 4|
|May 18||Dialects||Quiz 1, Ch 6|
|May 25||Language variation in age, social class and ethnicity|
|Jun 1||Language change||Ch 9|
|Jun 8||Gender||Ch 7, 12|
|Jun 15||Speech act and maxims of conversation||Quiz 2|
|Jun 22||Speech style and politeness||Ch 10, 11|
|Jun 29||How discourse is organized||Ch 14|
|Jul 6||Guest talk 2 (details TBA)|
|Jul 13||Language and culture||Quiz 3, Ch 13|
|(Jul 20)||(Holiday - Marine Day)|
|Jul 27||(backup day)|
|Aug 3||(backup day)||Final project due|
- Attendance and participation (40%)
- Quizzes (30%)
- Final project (30%)
You will be asked to attend every class and actively participate in class discussions. You need to submit a reaction paper at the end of each class. Typically, you will be asked to write a paragraph or two to present your own opinions and/or questions on the class topic.
You will be asked to show your understanding of the key concepts discussed in class and in the textbook. Quiz dates will be announced in advance.
In the final project, you need to collect and analyze your own data on a sociolinguistic variation or discourse function. Detailed instructions will be announced later.
- Session #1
- Introduction (PDF, 259KB)
- Session #2
- multilingualism (PDF, 319KB)
- Session #3
- pidgin and creole (PDF, 49KB)
- Session #4
- dialect (PDF, 42KB)
- Session #5
- social variation (PDF, 111KB)
- Session #6
- language change (PDF, 60KB)
- Session #7
- gender (PDF, 317KB)
- Session #8
- pragmatics (PDF, 170KB)
- Session #9
- politeness (PDF, 73KB)
- Session #10
- discourse (PDF, 181KB)
- Session #11
- language and culture (PDF, 1305KB)
Page last updated February 4, 2016
The class contents were most recently updated on the date indicated. Please be aware that there may be some changes between the most recent year and the current page.