Introduction to languages in contact/ sociolinguistics

This course introduces students to the theory and methodology of sociolinguistics, with particular application to multilingualism and languages in contact. We will be looking at a wide range of topics from an international as well as African perspective. This includes: patterns of linguistic diversity worldwide, identity and language use, social aspects of language change (with an excursion into the history and development of hip hop), the creation of linguistic meaning, societal multilingualism and lingua francas, language shift and death, language and power, language policy and planning for multilingual societies. Students will also receive hands-on training of how to design sociolinguistic research projects and conduct sociolinguistic fieldwork in multilingual settings.

1.       Introduction/Basic Concepts

2.       Linguistics and the Social Sciences

3.       Variation, Space

4.       Variation, Social Groups

5.       Meaning and Interaction, I

6.       Meaning and Interaction, II

7.       Language Maintenance, Shift and Death

8.       Language and Power

9.       Managing Diversity, Language Policy and Planning

10.      Trends and Topics in African Sociolinguistics  Final Discussion