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Unit information: Current Topics in Modern Sociolinguistics in 2016/17

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Unit name Current Topics in Modern Sociolinguistics
Unit code GERM30047
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Langer
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of German
Faculty Faculty of Arts


This unit will investigate salient features currently discussed in modern German sociolinguistics. The exact nature and number of topics may vary from year to year but it will typically include issues on the methodological problems of sociolinguistics, linguistic purism and "bad German")feminist linguistics, and diaphasic, diastratic and diatopic variation.


  • To introduce students to a significant body of knowledge of a complexity appropriate to final year level. The content matter will normally include one or more of the following: literature; social, cultural or political history; linguistics; cultural studies; film, television or other media.
  • To facilitate students’ engagement with a body of literature, including secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, primary sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of their linguistic skills.
  • To develop further skills of synthesis, analysis and independent research, building on the skills acquired in units at level I.
  • To equip students with the skills to undertake postgraduate study in a relevant field.

Intended learning outcomes

Successful students will:

  • be knowledgable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  • will have advanced skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  • be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at an advanced level;
  • be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity;
  • be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including postgraduate study.

Teaching details

Two seminar hours per week across one teaching block (22 contact hours).

Assessment Details

2 essays 3000 words each 50 % each

Reading and References

Fleißige StudentInnen haben folgende Bücher auf dem Schreibtisch stehen und schmökern schon vor Kursbeginn ein wenig darin.

Riehl, Claudia M. 2004. Sprachkontaktforschung. Tübingen: Narr.

von Polenz, Peter. 1999. Deutsche Sprachgeschichte vom Spätmittelalter bis zur Gegenwart. Band III. Berlin, New York: De Gruyter.