ANTH 219 Sociolinguistics • 5 Cr.


What can you tell about people from the way they speak? This course investigates the way social factors, such as age, gender and social class, affect the way people talk. The course also addresses how social and political changes can affect the language we use. Fulfills Social Science course requirement at BC.


After completing this class, students should be able to:

  • Identify social factors which lead to variation in how individuals and groups use language
  • Describe how social and political factors affect the development of languages over time, including the development of regional and social dialects, pidgins and creoles
  • Interpret graphs and tables showing correlations between linguistic forms and social variables
  • Analyze the causes and effects of social judgments of different dialects, taking a cross-cultural perspective, and justify taking a culturally relativistic approach to language variation
  • Evaluate the social effects of government policies related to language around the globe, including in the areas of education, bilingualism, language maintenance and official languages
  • Select and use appropriate methods for gathering and analyzing data to research sociolinguistic questions
  • Relate sociolinguistic research findings to their own experiences