Language and society

A.Y. 2020/2021
6
Max ECTS
40
Overall hours
SSD
SPS/07
Language
English
Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to deepen issues in the area of humanities and social sciences, with particular attention to the relationship between philosophy of language, linguistics, sociolinguistics and sociology. In addition, it addresses the role of the language in social interactions and its capacity to frame and construct worlds. Finally, methods for analyzing empirically talk-in-interaction transcripts will be learnt and practiced.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding
- knowledge of different approaches and themes: sociolinguistics, linguistic variability, ethnopragmatics, discourse and conversational analysis;
- development of a critical awareness to analyze political, media and institutional discourses, integrating methods, concepts and knowledge from other disciplines (philosophy of language, logics, sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology).
Capacity to apply knowledge and understanding
- the ability to conduct empirical research, analyzing video talk-in-interaction and related transcripts, and to evaluate the results achieved critically.
- the ability to apply the knowledge and critical skills acquired also outside the thematic areas addressed in the course as well as beyond the disciplinary boundaries of philosophy, such as in the fields of political discourse, media studies, interpersonal and institutional communication, gender linguistic discrimination, diversity management, politically correct practices for institutions and companies.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Responsible
Lesson period
First semester
For detailed info visit https://ggobols.ariel.ctu.unimi.it
Read carefully the pdf files loaded in the Notice Board.

The lessons will be held exclusively online, on the Microsoft Teams platform. There will be no lessons in attendance.
Participants will follow them synchronously, based on the timetable of the first semester.
Attendee status is acquired by attending at least 90% of the lessons. Therefore, it is tolerated the non-participation in a maximum of 2 lessons (out of 20).
Attendee is the one who connects at the beginning of the lesson and disconnects at the end of it.
Attendance will be registered: the participant must digit "here I am" in the course chat.

Unlike, NON-attendee students (if they want to, but it is not mandatory) could listen to the audio-recorded lessons, available on the same platform.
Course syllabus
For detailed info visit https://ggobols.ariel.ctu.unimi.it
Read carefully the pdf files loaded in the Notice Board.

The course offers an overview on different approaches to study the relations between language and society. This interdisciplinary field intersects diverse disciplines:
· the sociology of language (also known as macro-sociolinguistics), pioneered by Joshua Fishman, which studies the society and how it is impacted by language;
· the sociolinguistics, which in the West first appeared in the 1960s, founded by linguists such as William Labov in the US and Basil Bernstein in the UK. Sociolinguistics focuses the effect of society on language, being the language the main object of study. Hence, it studies the effect of society on language, and how language varies based on the user's sociological background, such as gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic class. Sociolinguistics overlaps considerably with
· pragmatics, ethnography of communication (Dell Hymes), ethnopragmatics (Alessandro Duranti)
· and it is closely related to linguistic anthropology (John Gumperz, Charles Goodwin).
These approaches will explore the relations between language and interactional context, and language and social context.

The course will also host some contributions of scholars (linguists, cognitive scientists and neuroscientists), who will present their research on the link between language and mind.

The second part of the course will be devoted to different approaches and methods for analyzing talk (discourse and conversation analysis): presentation of researches and exercises will be the core business of this part.
Prerequisites for admission
none
Teaching methods
- frontal online lessons
- students' presentations of assigned theoretical articles
- students' presentations of an conversation analysis exercise
- virtual classroom discussion
Teaching Resources
For the ATTENDEE students:
- Kissmann, Ulrike Tikvah (2009)(ed.), Video Interaction Analysis: Methods and Methodology. Frankfurt/M. et al.: Peter Lang.

For the NON-ATTENDEE students:
- Simpson, Andrew (2019), Language and society. An Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press (six chapters only: 1, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10).
- Kissmann, Ulrike Tikvah (2009)(ed.), Video Interaction Analysis: Methods and Methodology. Frankfurt/M. et al.: Peter Lang.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The exam will take place online and in oral form, using the Microsoft Teams platform.
The questions will cover the different textbooks foreseen for attendee and non-attendee students.
The exam will be aimed at ascertaining:
the achievement of the course objectives in terms of knowledge and understanding
the capacity to apply knowledge and understanding
the autonomy of judgment of the student
the mastery of the specific language related to sociolinguistics and sociology of language, and the ability to present arguments in a clear and orderly manner.

There will be two different examination tests, for ATTENDEE students and NON-ATTENDEE students.

For the ATTENDEE students the exam mark is constituted by:
1/3 class presentation of 2 assigned theoretical articles
1/3 class presentation of an conversation analysis exercise
1/3 oral exams on the textbook: Kissmann, Ulrike Tikvah (2009)(ed.), Video Interaction Analysis: Methods and Methodology. Frankfurt/M. et al.: Peter Lang.

For the NON-ATTENDEE students the oral exam will be focused on the following texbooks:
- Simpson, Andrew (2019), Language and society. An Introduction, Oxford: Oxford University Press (six chapters only: 1, 3, 4, 8, 9 and 10).
- Kissmann, Ulrike Tikvah (2009)(ed.), Video Interaction Analysis: Methods and Methodology. Frankfurt/M. et al.: Peter Lang.
Unita' didattica A
SPS/07 - GENERAL SOCIOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Unita' didattica B
SPS/07 - GENERAL SOCIOLOGY - University credits: 3
Lessons: 20 hours
Educational website(s)
Professor(s)
Reception:
every Wednesday from 5pm to 8pm: contact giampietro.gobo@unimi.it for an online colloquium, via Microsoft Teams
online, on Microsoft Teams