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

Fall 2009

AMS 370 • Language, Culture, and the Texas-German Experience-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
29960 TTh
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
bur 337
Boas

Course Description

Have you ever wondered why German is spoken in places like New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, Texas? This course explores the relationship between immigrants in the U.S. and their languages and cultures, as pertains to the German speaking immigrants who came to Texas starting in the 1840s. Readings, discussions, and assignments will explore the following questions, among others: • What are the linguistic and cultural consequences of immigration? • How are immigrant languages changed by contact with the host country's language - and vice versa? • What generalizations can be made about language choice and functions, language learning, and inter-lingual communication in immigrant settings? • What effect do national policies have on immigrants and their languages? • What is the relationship between language and identity? • What are the advantages and disadvantages of bilingual education?

Discussing topics such as cultural identity, language contact, and language maintenance and shift, we will focus on immigration in the United States, with particular reference to German speakers in Texas. Linguistic insights are augmented by relevant work from historians, anthropologists, and geographers. This course fulfills the University's requirements for a course with a Significant Writing Component. Although helpful, no knowledge of German is required since the course is taught in English. All texts are in English.

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