Language and Culture: Sociolinguistics

Pronunciation can be a matter of life and deathPronunciation can be a matter of life and death

This session introduces some basic approaches and findings from the field of Sociolinguistics’: how societies and social groups use language to create identities, social unity and to distinguish and protect themselves.


  • Read the reading, watch the video and check out the slides. This is quite long, so just read the marked sections, start at the green lines and stop at the red ones.

  • Prepare to submit Reflection Paper 3” on manaba (deadline is 17 Nov)

Reflection Paper 3

How do you think the language somebody speaks affects how they might behave in everyday life?

Hint: Try to separate out language’ - that is, what people say in different situations - from variations in other factors that affect behaviour (linguistic competence, social situations, social rules about language use etc). Try to write about 400 words.


Download slides - PDF


Download PDF

Other material

ITV News George Osborne (former UK Chancellor, upper class’ guy) using a fake’ accent when addressing working class’ listeners at a factory…

Putting on the Dish’

Script and Notes https://genius.com/Brian-and-karl-putting-on-the-dish-annotated

Armstrong and Miller’ WW2 pilots chat like London teenagers

Language and politics

Cants/Argots: An article on the language of thieves’ in Japan

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