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Sociolinguistics Fall15

Course Profile

Course Information:
Title:      Sociolinguistics    
Course Code:  ?  
Credit Hrs.: 3hrs per week
Course contact Hours: 48 (16 weeks)
Pre-requisites:     None (must be registered for MA English at FURC)   
Course site: 

Instructor Information:
Name:                  Ubaidullah A Qazi                                                          Email:   ubaid.qazi @fui. edu .pk  
Office Location:    Room 10, First Floor, Jinnah Block                                 Office Phone:      Ext: 217
Office meeting Hours:   Mon, Tue, Thu 1230-1400

 Course and Learning Objectives:

The course provides a general introduction to sociolinguistics. It examines language use in society, with a particular focus on the distinctions between language and dialect. The first part of the course deals with language variation according to users, including regional and social dialects as well as variation by gender. It explores factors that contribute to language change. The second part of the course deals with language variation according to use. Topics include: language attitudes, ethnography of speaking, pragmatics and politeness, and analyzing conversations. Students complete practical assignments of language use in society.

Course Aims:      

1.                                   To explore the relationship between linguistic and non-linguistic variables such as gender, social class and age.

2.                                   To enable students to develop analytical skills used in sociolinguistics

Learning Outcomes:

               Upon successful completion of the course students will:

1.                Gain a theoretical grounding in the field of sociolinguistics.

2.                Explore the relationship between linguistic and non-linguistic variables such as gender, social class and age;

3.                Collect linguistic data and analyze it from a sociolinguistic perspective;

4.                Be familiar with theories, bodies of knowledge and research methods ;

5.                Have the capacity for analytical and critical thinking and for creative problem-solving in linguistics

6.                Have the skills of effective communication

7.                Have the ability to engage in independent and reflective learning.

Grading Model:

·                  Mid-Term – 30 Marks

·                  Final Term – 50 Marks

·                  Attendance – 5 Marks

·                  Sessional – 15 Marks

o        Quizzes x 2 (5 Marks)

o        Essay x 1 (10 Marks)


Weekly Distribution of course contents:

Week #




Problem Set/






1.                Introduction.

2.                Introduction: variation and linguistic theory. Ch. 1







3.                Regional & social varieties; style; speech communities; networks. Ch. 2, 5

4.                Cont.







5.                Dialectology: regional variation. Ch. 6

6.                Regional variation, continued







7.                Linguistic variables; social variation.

8.                Variation studies. Ch. 7







9.                Labov, Trudgill, Milroys, etc.

10.             Cont.







11.             Historical linguistics. Ch. 8

12.             Historical linguistics, continued.







13.             Language change in progress.

14.             Cont.







15.             Mechanism of language change;

16.             pre-Midterm review







Mid Term Exams


17.             Language contact phenomena. Ch. 3

18.             Pidgins & creoles.







19.             Review of midterm exam;

20.             Diglossia, bilingualism & code-switching.







21.             Discussion: language choice in RWP/ISB.

22.             cont







23.             Language & culture; ethnography of communication

24.             Solidarity & politeness; speech acts. Ch. 11-12







25.             Linguistic Relativity

26.             Language and Thought







27.             Language & gender; language & disadvantage. Ch. 13-14

28.             Discussion: language, gender & disadvantage.







29.             Language planning. Ch. 15

30.             Language planning in Rest of the World.







31.             Discussion: language planning in Pakistan

32.             Pre-Exam Review










“Languages are all linguistically equal, but they are not all sociolinguistically equal” (Mesthrie 2006, p. 480)

Do you agree? Discuss your views and support your points with examples and  references from the literature.

This assignment has a holistic marking scheme. The criteria listed below serve as a guide only and they are not given “points”. I will use these criteria to indicate the areas where your essay could have been improved and where you did well. You will receive one holistic mark.

Assessment criteria

·                  Understanding of sociolinguistic concepts (dialect vs. language, etc.)

·                  Demonstration of critical thinking

·                  Supportive evidence and examples

·                  Referencing (use approx. 5-8 different published sources in addition to the textbook)

·                  Quality of academic writing

Essay length: 1500-2000 words
Essay format: APA or Harvard Style
Essay submission deadline:  Friday 7 Nov 2014

Course Resources

Required textbook:

Ronald Wardhaugh, An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (5th ed.). Oxford: Blackwell.
Available in pdf format on course site and from your tutor.


1.                International Journal of Language in Society

2.                Anthropological Linguistics

3.                Annual Review of Anthropology

4.                Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development

5.                World Englishes

6.                Journal of Sociolinguistics

Recommended sources:

Holmes, Janet (2013) An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 4th edition. London: Pearson,  Longman.

Meyerhoff, M. (2006) Introducing sociolinguistics. Routledge: London/N.Y.

Meyerhoff, M. and Schleef, E. (eds.)(2010). The Routledge Sociolinguistics Reader. Routledge:  London/N.Y.

Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics 2nd ed.
The Concise Encyclopedia of Sociolinguistics. 2001. UNSW eLibrary


David Crystal’s Homepage:

William Labov’s homepage: 

Dislcalimer: Course content is subject to change without any prior notice.  Please check with your tutor for an updated version.

Abid Qazi,
2 Nov 2015, 23:41
Abid Qazi,
2 Nov 2015, 23:36
Abid Qazi,
2 Nov 2015, 23:36
Abid Qazi,
2 Nov 2015, 23:36
Abid Qazi,
2 Nov 2015, 23:36
Abid Qazi,
2 Nov 2015, 23:36
Abid Qazi,
2 Nov 2015, 23:39