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LN270 Society and Language: Linguistics for Social Scientists


This course introduces students to key (socio)linguistic concepts (semantic and pragmatic meaning, discourse, register, genre, dialect, idiolect, sociolect) used in the analysis of language use as a social process.

If you have a keen interest in Language and Linguistics and wish to study how it fits into the framework of Society and the Social Sciences, you should consider this undergraduate degree option taught by Dr Peter Skrandies.


Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to;

  • understand and apply key (socio)linguistic concepts used in the analysis of language as a social process
  • understand and analyse the relationship between specific social structures and language use
  • understand and critically assess attitudes towards languages and debates related to particular uses of language
  • appreciate and understand the role of language in the creation and dissemination of (academic) knowledge
  • recognize and explain linguistic, social and political factors impacting on language contact, intercultural communication and language policies

Indicative Content

Students will explore the reciprocal relationship between language and specific social contexts and structures (class, gender, ethnicity), and study the role that language plays in the creation, maintenance and change of social relations and institutions.

Important themes are changing attitudes to language and the prestige afforded to particular languages and language varieties. The use of language for academic purposes will be analysed, as will be situations of language contact, multilingualism and the role of translation in intercultural and international communication. The implications and consequences for less widely used languages of the emergence of English (and other widely spoken languages) as global lingua francas will be outlined and discussed.

LN270 Society and Language: Linguistics for Social Scientists (Official Course Guide)

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