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Sociolinguistic Theory and Analysis
Linguistics 250

This course is an introduction to sociolinguistic theory. The course is intended to be a quarter-long conversation, with the goal of engaging with the deeper questions about the relation between language and social practice. Students are expected to be prepared to discuss the s readings in class. They will also submit a two-page squib each week about an issue related to the s readings. This must not be a summary or discussion of the readings, but a result of thought about some issue or issues that arose in the course of the readings. The squibs should be emailed to me no later than 8 AM on the day of class. Note: The syllabus may change as we go along.

Most of the readings are available online through the Stanford Library. The few that are not can be downloaded from this page.

Stuff that just comes up:
Paul Ryan's Vowels Thanks, Ingrid!
That article about dinner table conversations:
Ochs, Elinor and Taylor, Carolyn. 1995. The "father knows best" dynamic in dinnertime conversations. Gender articulated: Language and the socially constructed self, ed. by Kira Hall and Mary Bucholtz, 97-120. New York and London: Oxford University Press.
Mansplaining from Scott.
Kit Woolard's article about alternative markets: Woolard, Kathryn A. 1985. Language variation and cultural hegemony: Toward an integration of sociolinguistic and social theory. American Ethnologist, 12.738-48.
Jane Hill's article about Mock Spanish: Hill, Jane H. 1993. Hasta la vista, baby: Anglo Spanish in the American Southwest. Critique of Anthropology, 13.145-76.
Romney's style from the Sunday Times.
Bourdieu's Forms of Capital

September 26


October 3

The origins and development of sociolinguistics
Gumperz, John J. 1958. Dialect differences and social stratification in a north Indian village. American Anthropologist, 60.668-82.
Labov, William. 1963. The social motivation of a sound change. Word, 18.1-42 Reprinted in Sociolinguistic Patterns.
Labov, William. 1972. Some principles of linguistic methodology. Language in society, 1.97-120

October 10
The locus of study: Languages and communities as ideological constructs
Pratt, Mary Louise. 1988. Linguistic utopias. the linguistics of writing: Arguments between language and literature, ed. by Nigel Fabb, Derek Attridge, Alan Durant and Colin MacCabe, 48-66. New York: Methuen.
Woolard, Kathryn A. and Schieffelin, Bambi B. 1994. Language ideology. Annual Review of Anthropology, 23. 55-82.
Irvine, Judith T. and Gal, Susan. 2000. Language ideology and linguistic differentiation. Regimes of language: Ideologies, politics, and identities, ed. by P.V. Kroskrity, 35-83. Santa Fe NM: SAR Press.

October 17

Categories and practice: Class, gender, ethnicity

Kroch, Anthony S. 1978. Toward a theory of social dialect variation. Language in Society, 7.17-36.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1977. The economics of linguistic exchanges. Social Science Information, 16.645-68.
Eckert, Penelope and Mcconnell-Ginet, Sally. 1992. Think practically and look locally: Language and gender as community-based practice. Annual Review of Anthropology. 21. 461-90.
Fought, Carmen. 1999. A majority sound change in a minority community /u/-fronting in Chicano English. Journal of sociolinguistics, 3.5-23.

October 24

The object of study: Speakers, identity and agency

Bucholtz, Mary and Hall, Kira. 2005. Identity and interaction: a sociocultural linguistic approach. Discourse studies, 7.585-614.
Ahearn, Laura. 2001. Language and agency. Annual Review of Anthropology, 30.109-37.

October 31

Eckert, Penelope. 2012. Three waves of variation study: The emergence of meaning in the study of variation. Annual Review of Anthropology, 41.87-100.
Eckert, Penelope. 2008. Variation and the indexical field. Journal of sociolinguistics, 12.453-76.
Inoue, Miyako. 2004. What does language remember?: Indexical inversion and the naturalized history of Japanese women. Journal of linguistic anthropology, 14.39-56.
Recommended: Silverstein, Michael. 2003. Indexical order and the dialectics of sociolinguistic life. Language and communication, 23.193-229.

November 7

Style and enregisterment
Zhang, Qing. 2005. A Chinese yuppie in Beijing: Phonological variation and the construction of a new professional identity. Language in society, 34.431-66.
Podesva, Robert. 2007. Phonation type as a stylistic variable: The use of falsetto in constructing a persona. Journal of sociolinguistics, 11.478-504.
Agha, Asif. 2003. The social life of a cultural value. Language and communication, 23.231-73.
Johnstone, Barbara, Andrus, Jennifer and Danielson, Andrew E. 2006. Mobility, indexicality, and the enregisterment of "Pittsburghese". Journal of English linguistics, 34.77-104.

November 14

Language contact and shift
Sharma, Devyani. 2011. Style, repertoire and social change in British Asian English. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 15.464-92.
Kulick, Don. 1993. Speaking as a woman: Structure and gender in domestic arguments in a Papua New Guinean village. Cultural Anthropology, 8.510-41.
Gal, Susan. 1978. Peasant men can't get wives: Language change and sex roles in a bilingual community. Language in Society, 7.1-16.
Besnier, Niko. 2002. Transgenderism, locality, and the Miss Galaxy beauty pageant in Tonga. American Ethnologist, 29.534-66.

November 28

The interactional organization of speech
Goffman, Erving. 1967. On face work. Interaction Ritual, 5-45. New York: Doubleday.
Bauman, Richard. 2001. The ethnography of genre in a Mexican market: Form, function, variation. Stylistic variation in language, ed. by Penelope Eckert and John Rickford, 57-77. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Irvine, Judith. 1974. Strategies of status manipulation in the Wolof greeting. Explorations in the ethnography of speaking, ed. by Richard Bauman and Joel Sherzer, 167-91. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Schegloff, E. and Sacks, H. 1973. Opening up closings. Semiotica, 8.69-99.

December 5

Here are the readings you requested:
Lakoff, Robin. 1973. Language and woman's place. Language in society, 2.45-80.
Cameron, D., Mcalinden, F. and O'leary, K. 1988. Lakoff in context: The social and linguistic function of tag questions. Women in Their Speech Communities: New Perspectives on Language and Sex, ed. by Jennifer Coates and Deborah Cameron, 74-93. London and New York: Longman.
O'barr, W. M. and Atkins, B. K. 1980. "Women's language" or "powerless language"? Women and Language in Literature and Society, 93-110. New York: Praeger (Reissued in 1986 by Greenwood).
Andersen, Elaine Slosberg. 1990. Speaking with style: The sociolinguistic skills of children. London: Routledge.
Mitchell-Kernan, Claudia (1972) Signifying and Marking: Two African-American Speech Acts. In: John Gumperz and Dell Hymes eds. Directions in Sociolinguistics. Cambridge: Blackwell. 161-79.
Bucholtz, Mary. 2000. 'Why be normal?': Language and identity practices in a community of nerd girls. Language in society, 28.203-23.
Bucholtz, Mary. 2001. The whiteness of nerds: Superstandard English and racial markedness. Journal of linguistic anthropology, 11.84-100.
Eckert, Penelope. 2011. Language and power in the preadolescent heterosexual market. American Speech, 86.85-97.