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Subject code : 64023033
Unit 1 deals with some introductory aspects of sociolinguistics like the definition and configuration of the discipline, its relation to sociology of language, the synchronic and the diachronic perspectives of variation and the explanation and exemplification of what is considered a speech community. Then we enter into the configuration of Standard English and World Englishes as a sociolinguistic reality that has helped configure the present sociolinguitic situation of English as a global language. Finally, the student is presented with some approaches to sociolinguistic research that will give him/her an overall sense of the scope of the field and its relevance to everyday life.
Unit 2 concentrates on a key concept for sociolinguistics, namely variation, and the description of some variables that clearly determine or are determined by variation like style, register and gender. Speech accommodation is also dealt with in this chapter; this is speakers’ reactions to variation differences in other speakers.
Unit 3 centres on distinguishing the social and the individual dimensions of this branch of linguistics, and deals with bilingualism, code choice, diglossia, multilingualism and language contact in various scenarios. Then, special attention is paid to variation in the form of English-based creoles and examples are provided in Hawaiian creole English, Jamaican Patwa and Tok Pisin. The process of decreolisation is also depicted in this chapter and some implications for the use of pidgins and creoles in formal education are presented.
Unit 4 presents some applied aspects of sociolinguistics that have some bearing on the welfare of humanity and the development of society. Including bilingual education, language planning and policy as two ways of introducing sociolinguistic aspects to our lives. Some practical instances of bilingual education and language policy are portrayed in places like Canada, Australia, India and Cameroon. To end this chapter, the current situation of EU language policy is analysed.
Unit 5 introduces some applied issues in sociolinguistics and describes the interface between sociolinguistics and language teaching, by approaching the analysis of classroom discourse and language acquisition. To end this selection of topics, two other interesting aspects are presented: forensic linguistics and corpus linguistics and their connection with sociolingustics.