LING 375 - Language in the Mass Media: Linguistics and Language Variation in the Public Sphere
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
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 daily 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 clip upload; eight short reflections; analytic report or creative project; group project and class presentation; regular class participation.

LING 375 - Language in the Mass Media: Linguistics and Language Variation in the Public Sphere
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780470659922
Vox Popular: The Surprising Life of Language in the Media, Author: Robin Queen, Publisher: Wiley 2015
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for LING 375 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi
The CourseProfile (ART) system, supported by the U-M Provost’s 3rd Century Initiative through a grant to the Office of Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (ART)