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Steven Hoelscher, Chair Burdine 437, Mailcode B7100, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-7277

Fall 2003

AMS 321 • Language and Speech in American Society

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
26365 MW
4:00 PM-6:30 PM
GAR 109

Course Description

Just talking to friends around the University or listening to the radio and watching TV makes us aware of the diversity of ways of speaking in the United States. This diversity becomes even more striking when we look at American society more generally, in relation to history and geography, with regard to such social and cultural catgories as gender, ethnicity, and class, and in terms of such institutions as politics, law, and education. This course provides useful and interesting understanding of the languages, dialects, and patterns of speaking in American society.

Topics covered: Languages and dialects in the USA, Black English, Ebonics, Spanish and English in Mexican American speech communities, Language and language use among American Indians, Men’s and Women’s speech, Language and medicine, Language and law, Language and education, Playful, expressive, and artistic uses of language, Storytelling, Nonverbal communication

Grading Policy

Two exams during the semester; no final exam; three short projects involving analysis of language and speech. In the compilation of the grade, exams count 45%, projects count 45%, and class participation counts 10%.


textbook and course packet


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