LING 492 - Topics in Linguistics
Fall 2022, Section 002 - Language and Social Meaning
Instruction Mode: Section 002 is  In Person (see other Sections below)
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
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Details

Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
99
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 18 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Description

When we listen to others, we immediately start forming opinions about who they are. They “sound” feminine, or intelligent, or Black, or gay, or Californian, or maybe all of the above! Even NPR host Peter Sagal once had someone shake his hand and say “That’s so funny—you don’t sound bald!” But why? How do you listen to someone and decide whether or not they have hair? 

This course will answer this question from the perspective of variationist sociolinguistics—the branch of linguistics that looks at how our talk varies, in large (do you say cart or buggy?) and miniscule (what intonation do you use when you want to sound offended?) ways. We’ll learn how we can unearth the social meanings attached to these large and small differences and explore the extent to which those meanings reflect our attitudes about larger social structures such as those of race, class, gender, and power. 

To explore this, we will read some of the foundational works in the variation literature, and then look at the ways those foundational findings have been complicated in more recent work.  We’ll also practice testing our assumptions about these connections through small scale surveys and experiments. You’ll learn hands-on through small, semi-weekly assignments, and then have an opportunity to thoroughly explore a topic of your own choosing through a final project.

Intended Audience:

Undergraduate and graduate students who have interest in the intersections of language and social culture. Prior exposure to the basic concepts of phonetics (LING 313 or 512) will be helpful but is in no way required.

Schedule

LING 492 - Topics in Linguistics
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
 In Person
26606
Open
17
 
-
MW 10:00AM - 11:30AM
002 (SEM)
 In Person
28535
Open
8
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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Syllabi

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