2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    Apr 01, 2023  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin [Archived Bulletin]

MODL 1020 - Language and Society

Goals: To examine how language reflects an individual’s or group’s status or power in society, social class, ethnic background, geographical or regional origins, political associations, and religious identity, as well as gender.

Content: Sociolinguistics examines urban complexities and emphasizes the effect of our attitudes on speech. Students discover their own idiolects and verbal repertoires, learn why Italians in New York might hypercorrect, why some men choose not to speak as well as women do (covert prestige), why we call someone “Dr.” one moment and “Jimmy” or “Jane” the next, and why we use taboo words. Our linguistic choices tell others how conservative or liberal, how religious, how sexist, how racist, or how status-conscious we are. Special attention is given to the origins of African-American English and its characteristics as reflected in literature.

Taught: Periodically

Credits: 4