LING 316 Course Syllabus

Professor: (Dr.) Terry Nadasdi

tel.: 492-1195

office: 218 D Arts (Old Arts building)

office hour: Wednesday 3PM-4PM (or on request)


9 points scale

% scale

92-100 9 (exceptional)

83-91 8 (excellent)

74-82 7 (very good)

65-73 6 (good)

57-64 5 (average, i.e "pass")

50-56 4 ("low pass")

41-49 3 (conditionnal)

30-40 2 (fail)

0-29 1 (fail)

Course Text

Downes, William. 1998. Language and Society, 2nd edition. Cambridge University Press. (available at Bookstore)

Selected readings for LING 316 (available at Bookstore)


Mid-Term test: 30% (Feb. 17)

Final exam: 30%

Classroom discussion: 10%

Term Paper: 30% (Due April 13)

Attendance: Students are expected to attend all lectures and to participate actively in classroom discussions. Students MUST be present at scheduled tests. Make-up tests will only be arranged upon presentation of a medical certificate

E-mail: Students should provide the instructor with their e-mail address to facilitate the distribution of information relevant to the course. Please feel free to correspond with me at any time over e-mail to clarify points of discussion. Note, however, that this is not a means of making up for missed classes.





Introduction: what is sociolinguistics? (Downes, ch. 1)

Dialectology, Standard Language, Language Death (Downes, ch. 2)

Multilingualism, Canadian English, Canadian French (Downes, ch. 3; Chambers article; Gal article)

Sociolinguistic variation, (Downes, ch. 4)

Rhoticity, i.e. fancy word for the consonant "R" (Downes, ch. 5; Labov article on the pronunciation of "R" in NYC)

Social Factors, Age, AAVE, Language and Gender, (Downes, ch. 6; Eckert and McConnell-Ginet article; Labov article on the Logic of Nonstandard English)

Language Change, Language and Power, Attitudes (Downes, ch. 7)

Discourse Analysis, (Downes, ch. 8)

Relevance Theory (Downes, ch. 9)

Speech Acts, Language as Performance, (Downes, ch. 10)


English: Canadian varieties (Jack Chambers)

Peasant Men Can't Get Wives: Language Change and Sex Roles in a Bilingual Community

(Susan Gal)

The social stratification of "R" in New York City Department Stores (William Labov)

Communities of Practice: Where Language, Gender, and Power all Live

(Penelope Eckert and Sally McConnell-Ginet)

The Logic of Nonstandard English (William Labov)

The Pronouns of Power and Solidarity (Roger Brown and A. Gilman)