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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Fall 2006

POR 396K • Language Contact, Conflict, and Change

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47990 TTh
6:30 PM-8:00 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

I. Introduction: Language and society, major topics in sociolinguistics and sociology of language. Speech communities, networks, repertoires; language, dialect, and style; bilingualism and diglossia; language contact and language change. Social and linguistic dimensions of contact and conflict; language maintenance and shift; language death. Micro and macro levels of analysis; quantitative and qualitative approaches. Case studies. II Applications to the current situation of Spanish as a national language and a second language in the U.S. and as an official or working language in international organizations. Standardization and change, e.g., in public administration, business, sci-tech, and other fields. Lexical, phonological, and morphosyntactic variation and representative research procedures. Discourse and gender. Case studies.

III Consequences of contact and conflict (or lack thereof) with indigenous languages of the Americas and elsewhere. Bilingualism and diglossia, codeswitching, contact vernaculars and other features of stable extensive bilingualism; "Spanglish". Critical sociolinguistics and language factors in power relationships. Language policy and planning and their implementation in public life. Case studies.

Grading Policy

Three in-class presentations (25%), three research papers (75%)


Carmen Silva-Corvalán, Sociolingüistica y pragmática del espanol Sara Thomason, Language contact: an introduction Carmen Silva-Corvalán (ed.) Spanish in four continents


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