Naomi Nagy

Linguistics at U of T

LIN 351H1S 2011: Sociolinguistic Patterns

Requirements | Schedule |Reading

Course Description

We'll examine the way spoken language varies according to the social characteristics of its speakers. Speech variation according to age, sex, ethnicity, linguistic attitude, style, location, time, social status, and network membership will be explored. Quantitative analysis methods will be introduced and the relationship between sociolinguistics and theoretical linguistics, examined. Readings from the textbook and a collection of recent research publications will be discussed in class. Students must be prepared to participate in class and in tutorial.  Prerequisite: LIN100Y1.


Dr. Naomi Nagy Department of Linguistics
Tel: 416 978-1767 4070 Sid Smith
email: naomi dot nagy at utoronto dot ca Office hours: Tuesdays 4-5, Thursdays 3-4, and by appointment.

Teaching assistants

LeAnn Brown

Matthew Hunt Gardner

Lecture Time & Location

Tuesdays 10:10-12:00 in SS 1073 (Link to campus map) in 2011

Tutorial Times & Locations

  • Wednesday: 2:10-3:00 PM in Sid Smith 2128 (T0101)
  • Wednesday: 3:10-4:00 PM in Sid Smith 2128 (T0201)
  • Wednesday: 4:10-5:00 PM in Sid Smith 2128 (T0301)


Required textbook: Chambers, J.K. 2009. Sociolinguistic theory: Linguistic variation and its social  significance. 2nd Edition, Revised. Oxford: Blackwell. (You may be able to get a deal on the 2003 2nd Edition (Unrevised). That will work, but YOU will need to check the page numbers for each assignment with someone who has the new version).

Required supplementary readings: The textbook will be supplemented with additional readings. These will be made available via Blackboard. Some reading assignments will be for lecture, others for tutorial. See reading list and schedule.

Recommended textbooks:

Tagliamonte, S. 2006. Analysing Sociolinguistic Variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (This book will be helpful for understanding quantitative analysis, and is curently the required textbook for LIN 451. There will be no specific reading assignments from it in this course.)

Walker, James. 2010. Variation in Linguistic Systems. Taylor & Francis. (ISBN: 978-0-203-85420-4) (There will be no specific reading assignments from it in this course. However, it provides much useful information for those interested in different types of quantitative analysis of linguistic variation.)


Tutorial participation ongoing 10%
5 Assignments ongoing (see due dates) 30%
Term test March 1, 2010 30%
Final exam



The assignments are designed to build your methodological skills to conduct quantitative sociolinguistic analyses and to help you understand the connections between theory and method.

Tutorials are designed to help you work through the assignments as well as discuss other topics. Therefore it is essential that you attend and participate.

The tests will be both factual and analytic, designed to test and apply the knowledge you have gained. Types of questions will include multiple choice, true or false, short answer, etc. The final exam will be cumulative, covering all material in the course. Exam questions will be taken from major issues contained in the required readings as well as issues developed and discussed in the lectures and tutorials.

Please check the Blackboard website for announcements and updates regularly. Information there supersedes what is in the printed version.

To save paper, please print double-sided when possible. Title pages are not required on assignments for this course.


COURSE SCHEDULE | Updated February 25, 2011 by Naomi Nagy
email: naomi dot nagy at utoronto dot ca | Return to my home page