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This yearlong course sequence provides an introduction to the study of how language and culture are intertwined in everyday practice. We will take an anthropological approach to language, that is, we will study language as that common human condition which is also a fundamental mode of difference and diversity across cultures and communities. The first semester of the course is designed to give students a basic grounding in anthropological linguistics and an outline of the major methodologies that have been developed to study the ways in which language, culture, and society are intertwined.
This course is an introduction to sociolinguistics, the study of the relationship between language and society. We will look at variation at all levels of language and how such variation constructs and is constructed by identity and culture. An exploration of attitudes and ideologies about these varieties will be of particular importance to understanding this relationship. We will also consider some of the educational, political, and social repercussions of these sociolinguistic facts.