LING 375 - Language in the Mass Media: Linguistics and Language Variation in the Public Sphere
Section: 001
Term: FA 2009
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
Requirements & Distribution:
Advisory Prerequisites:
LING 111 or 210.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course examines language and language variation as it is found in the mass media, with two primary foci: 1) the representation of linguistic variation used in scripted venues such as film, television, cartoons and music and 2) the use of language within media outlets not engaged in representation, such as that associated with specific activities (e.g. sports), with specific kinds of communities (e.g. Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans), and with specific modes of popular communication (e.g. Computer-Mediated Communication). The representation of linguistic variation occurs when varieties of language (e.g. a southern American accent; African-American English; Chicano English, etc.) are used to quickly draw particular kinds of characters. For instance, southern American accents are often used with characters who are supposed to be poorly educated while African-American English is often used by criminals in urban crime dramas. Of course, the use of these varieties in a fictional context rarely corresponds to how these varieties are used by speakers in their day to day lives. One of our primary goals, then, is to contrast the representation of language found in popular culture with the more scientific conception of language that is found in disciplines such as linguistics, anthropology, and psychology. Another important goal is to understand how people can use language as a means of social identification, social groupings, and social affiliation. Course Requirements: Weekly observation journal; three short reflection projects; final research project (original research explained in 10-page paper); group project and class presentation; regular class participation. Intended Audience: Concentrators with interests in social analysis of language; non-concentrators interested in understanding more about language in its social context. Class Format: 3 hours per week, primarily discussion with some lecture

LING 375 - Language in the Mass Media: Linguistics and Language Variation in the Public Sphere
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
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