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LING112 Social Aspects of Language

An introduction to the analysis and description of language use in social settings: includes language change and death, and social factors such as gender and age.

The same person makes different language choices in different situations - even in their native language. Why do you say 'Hey' or 'Mate!' to one person and 'Hello' or 'Sir' to another? Different aspects or identity are associated with different language choices. Who is more likely to say 'It's absolutely fabulous!' or 'It's nice'? The same language sounds different in different places. Why do NZers think Australians say 'feesh and cheeps' and NZers say 'fush and chups'? The same language holds different status to different people. How is Tok Pisin an official language, a lingua franca, a creole, and a pidgin at the same time?

This paper is an introduction to the analysis and description of language use in a range of social settings. Topics include language in multilingual communities; language variation and change; the roles of gender, age and ethnicity; and speech styles and functions, including politeness.

Note: This paper can be taken independently of LING 111.

Paper title Social Aspects of Language
Paper code LING112
Subject Linguistics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $868.95
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,656.70

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Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Dr Anne Feryok
Paper Structure
  • Multilingual speech communities
  • Language variation among users
  • Language variation in use
Assessment Schedule:
  • Test 1: 15%
  • Test 2: 15%
  • Project: 30% (5% written project plan, 15% written project report, 10% oral project presentation)
  • Exam 40%
Workloads and Time Management:
  • Lectures and tutorials: 26 hours (26 one-hour lectures)
  • Reading and studying: 46 hours (3.5 hours per week, plus .5 orienting to paper)
  • Tutorials: 8 hours
  • Test 1: 15 hours of studying
  • Test 2: 15 hours of studying
  • Project 3: 30 hours (planning = 10, collecting/analysing = 10, writing/presenting = 10)
  • Final examination: 40 hours of studying
Teaching Arrangements
This paper is taught through lectures.
Mooney, Annabelle and Evans, Betsy (2015). Language, Society and Power. Routledge.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Demonstrate understanding of key concepts in sociolinguistics.

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Thursday 09:00-09:50 29-30, 32-33, 36-37, 39-40
T2 Thursday 10:00-10:50 29-30, 32-33, 36-37, 39-40
T3 Friday 12:00-12:50 29-30, 32-33, 36-37, 39-40