Tuesday, 14 June 2011

On the subject of sociolinguistics

Teaching "Language in Society" in the winter. Looking for a textbook. The one that came most recommended isn't going to work for me: too jumbled in its presentation, too may different boxes and insets and asides, and print way too small (and sans serif!).

So casting around for a new book. This class is for 2nd year undergrads, so limited background. I am tempted to go back to a reading course I offered a grad student a few years ago, with Sociolinguistics by Milroy and Gordon as the backbone, supplemented with other readings. UGs hate that, but I've been meaning to post my reading lists to my 'courses' area of my website. But anyway, for anyone who cares, that course looked like this:

  • Milroy & Gordon (2003). Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation. (Blackwell)
  • Preliminaries and points of view (to accompany M&G Ch 1)
    • Hymes, Dell (1971). On Communicative Competence. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Excerpted in J. B. Pride & J. Holmes (eds), Sociolinguistics: Selected Readings (Hammondsworth: Penguin Education), pp. 269-293.
    • Labov, William (2003). Some sociolinguistic principles. In C. B. Paulston & G. R. Tucker (eds) Sociolinguistics: The Essential Readings. Malden: Blackwell. Apparently excerpted from W. Labov (1971), The Study of Non-Standard English, Champaign: National Council of Teachers of English.
  • Techniques, methodology and practical issues (Ch 3)
    • Milroy, Lesley (1980a). “Studying language in the community: The fieldworker and the social network”. Ch. 3 of Language and Social Networks (Baltimore: University Park Press), pp. 40-69.
    • Milroy, Lesley (1980b). “The quantitative analysis of linguistic data”. Ch. 5 of Language and Social Networks (Baltimore: University Park Press), pp. 109-138.
  • Sociological factors (Ch 4)
    • Rickford J. R. (1986). The need for new approaches to social class analysis in sociolinguistics. Language and Communication 6(3), 215-221.
    • Eckert, P. (1989). “The whole woman: Sex and gender differences in variation.” LVC 1, 245-68.
    • Eckert, P. (1997). “Age as a sociolinguistic variable”, in F. Coulmas (ed) Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 151-167
    • Labov, W (1990). “The intersection off sex and social class in the course of linguistic change. Language Variation and Change 2, pp. 205-254.
  • Cases – Phonology (Ch 6)
    • Labov, William (1982). “The social stratification of (r) in New York City department stores”. Ch. 3 of The Social Stratification of English in New York City (3rd printing) (Washington: Center for Applied Linguistics), pp. 42-59.
    • Dubois, S. and B. M. Horvath (1998). Let’s tink about dat: Interdental fricatives in Cajun English. LVC 10(3), 245-61.
    • Eckert P. (1998). “Gender and sociolinguistic variation”. in J Coates (ed) Language and Gender: A Reader, Cambridge: CUP, 64-75.
  • Cases – Grammar and discourse (Ch 7)
    • Sankoff, David, Henrietta J. Cedergren, William Kemp, Pierre Thibault & Diane Vincent (1989). “Montreal French: Language, class, and ideology”. In R. W. Fasold & D. Schiffrin (eds), Language Change and Variation (Philadelphia: John Benjamins), pp. 107-118.
    • Schiffrin, Deborah (1999). “Oh as a marker of information management”. In A. Jaworski & N. Coupland (eds), The Discourse Reader (New York: Routledge), pp. 275-288. Excerpted from D. Schiffrin (1987), Discourse Markers, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Sign Language
    • Ann, Jean (2001). “Bilingualism and language contact”. In C. Lucas (ed.), The Sociolinguistics of Sign Languages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 33-60.
    • Lucas, Ceil, Robert Bayley, Clayton Valli, Mary Rose & Alyssa Wulf (2001). “Sociolinguistic variation”. In C. Lucas (ed.), The Sociolinguistics of Sign Languages (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 61-111.

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