This course will trace the different linguistic beliefs and ideas, i.e. ideologies, about language both historically and thematically. On the one hand we will be concerned with ideologies of language and communication in general, on the other hand we will consider ideologies specifically within the socio-political context of the English language. Are there common threads or themes that appear in the history of linguistic thought? Are there different foci that those ideologies centre on? What is the relationship between lay (or folk) linguistics and academic linguistics when it comes to their respective language ideologies? Have we developed better theories about language with the advent of a scientific linguistics? Why do linguists believe that linguistics is a ‘science’? Which areas are most likely to rouse people’s feelings and emotions about language, both in the past and presently? Are there linguistic beliefs which one might call ‘non-ideological’?
The course will enable students
- To have a better understanding of the various ideas and discourses on language that the history of linguistic thought has brought forth
- To better understand the concept of ‘ideology’ in the context of language studies
- To grasp the differences and commonalities between linguistics as an academic form of inquiry and lay linguistics
- To familiarize themselves with the ideologies of English from both a historical and a contemporary perspective
- To critically compare and analyse different language ideologies through their own research projects.
Individual research paper (2000 words) (50%)
Personal reflection on the course (500 words) (20%)
In-class quiz on course contents (30%)
Students will be provided with readings and texts, which will be made available on Moodle throughout the semester.