This course is a hands-on, fun introduction to sociolinguistics and the study of the social life of language. Reflecting on our own experiences, we address questions like: What is a dialect? How does language change spread within a community and between communities? What effects do social media and popular television and film series have on interpersonal communication? How do factors such as age, gender, and race influence the way we perceive language use by others? In investigating the answers to these questions, students read primary sources, collect their own original data, and critically analyze language use across a range of contexts.
- Teacher: Jamie Thomas