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Intermediate Language Variation & Change - LAN00010I

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Carmen Llamas
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Spring Term 2022-23 to Summer Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module explores the types of variation and change that languages display, and the relationship between language and social factors such as age, gender, class and ethnicity. It introduces methodologies for investigating variation and change, as well as theories of why variability occurs and how languages change.

The specific aims of this module are:

  • to foster an awareness of the causes and parameters of variation in language, and the roles of variation in communication
  • to familiarise you with key concepts, terminology and theories in describing linguistic variation and language change
  • to introduce the methodologies used to investigate variation
  • to give you experience in handling data collected from studies of language variation
  • to give you experience of the kinds of argumentation employed in interpreting empirical data

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you will have gained:

  • an understanding of the most important driving forces behind language variation and change
  • an understanding of methodologies used to analyse language variation and change
  • the ability to interpret patterns in linguistic data
  • the ability to develop an academic argument based on empirical data

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
N/A 30
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Intermediate Language Variation & Change
4 hours 70

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Reassessment: Intermediate Language Variation & Change
4 hours 100

Module feedback

Feedback on formative work

Immediate oral comments on seminar exercises

Oral and written comments on group presentations

Summative assessment and feedback

Two-hour closed examination

Feedback: mark on university scale and subsequent access to script and written comments on it at an appointed time.

Indicative reading

Chambers, J. (2nd edition 2003) Sociolinguistic Theory: Linguistic Variation and its Social Significance (Oxford: Blackwell)

Chambers, J.K. & Schilling, Natalie (eds) (2nd edition 2013) Handbook of Language Variation and Change. (Oxford: Blackwell)

Llamas, C., Mullany, L. & Stockwell, P. (eds) (2007) The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics. (London: Routledge)

Milroy, L. and Gordon, M. (2003) Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation (Oxford: Blackwell)

Wardhaugh, R. (4th edition 2001) An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (Oxford: Blackwell)

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.