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LING112 Power at Work in Language

We work in language, but how does language work for us? Sociolinguistic analysis of how social power and identity (gender, age, status, culture) shape and are shaped by language use and policy, including endangered languages.

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 represents different values to different people. Why do some NZers say 'Eh' and not others?

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

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

Paper title Power at Work in Language
Paper code LING112
Subject Linguistics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Dr Anne Feryok
Paper Structure

Assessment Schedule:

  • Test 1: 15%
  • Test 2: 15%
  • Project: 30% (5% written project plan, 15% written project report, 10% oral project presentation)
  • Exam 40%
Teaching Arrangements
This paper is taught through lectures.

Required: Mooney, A. & Evans, B. Language Society & Power, 4th edition. 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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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 9-12, 18-22
Thursday 13:00-13:50 9-12, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 11-13, 19-21
A2 Monday 15:00-15:50 11-13, 19-21