LING 394 - Topics in Linguistics
Section: 011 Language and Community
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Advisory Prerequisites:
LING 111 or 210.
Repeatability:
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

This course will focus on notions of "community" to interrogate how language is intertwined with social structure, affinity, identity, ideology, and individuality. While "community" seems like a commonplace word with clear and simple meanings, we'll draw on the readings — and our personal experiences — to question what community is and what community means, both for language users and for linguistics and related fields, and we'll see if we can distinguish it from other concepts like "culture" and "society." The course is organized around four overlapping themes. Beginning with speech communities, we will consider language as a defining feature of community, something that binds humans into groups of speakers (e.g., "the Spanish-speaking community"). Second, we will examine linguistic variation as a function of social relationships, which can be modeled as social networks and/or communities of practice (e.g., "the World of Warcraft community"). Third, we will think about the role of language in aggregates based on social identities such as gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, race, or politics (e.g., "the gay community"; "the Jewish community"; "the conservative community"). Fourth, we will look at how language mediates, and is mediated by, spatial constructs such as nation, hemisphere, state, and neighborhood (e.g, "the community of Ann Arbor"; "the campus community"), and virtual constructs ("online communities"). We'll also discuss how social institutions — media, schools, government, family — define, imagine, and represent community; how both inclusion and exclusion can be investigated through a focus on language; how an individual speaker's linguistic practice represents a locus of overlapping community memberships; and what our own community experiences can contribute to these topics.

Primary course requirements: Reading response journal, class discussion leading, two short essays, collaborative research project, and final exam.

LING 394 - Topics in Linguistics
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 
45594
Open
89
 
-
MW 2:30PM - 4:00PM
003 (DIS)
P
45846
Open
14
 
-
F 9:00AM - 10:00AM
004 (DIS)
P
45847
Open
14
 
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
005 (DIS)
P
45848
Open
10
 
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
006 (DIS)
P
45852
Open
1
 
-
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
010 (LEC)
P
46898
Open
25
 
-
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
011 (LEC)
P
46899
Open
23
 
-
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
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