Joint-honours information for 2016 entry

Language in the United States

Module Q1087

Module details for 2016/17.

15 credits

FHEQ Level 5

Module Outline

This module assesses the linguistic landscape of the United States from the colonial period onward and examines the linguistic and social forces that have brought the US to its current linguistic state. We consider how a nation of such size and diverse history has managed without an explicit language policy, arriving at a de facto standardized national language. Topics to be discussed include:
• What is the native linguistic landscape of North America? (How) have European and native American languages interacted?
• What was ‘English’ in the colonial period? How did expansion and immigration change the linguistic landscape?
• What is ‘American’ about ‘American English’? How is it different from other national varieties? Why isn’t it more different from other Englishes?
• How was language standardization achieved? Which institutions, individuals and events affected it?
• Are there particularly ‘American’ forms or uses of linguistic communication?
• Is American English a threat to other linguistic varieties?

Module learning outcomes

describe major distinguishing characteristics of American English and of the linguistic landscape of the US.

explain major forces that have determined the directions of linguistic change in contemporary USA.

use corpus and lexicographical tools to support a claim about language in the US.

Coursework components. Weighted as shown below.
EssayT1 Week 7 25.00%
EssayT1 Week 9 25.00%
EssayT1 Week 12 50.00%

Submission deadlines may vary for different types of assignment/groups of students.


Coursework components (if listed) total 100% of the overall coursework weighting value.

TermMethodDurationWeek pattern
Autumn SemesterSeminar1 hour111111111111
Autumn SemesterLecture1 hour111111111111

How to read the week pattern

The numbers indicate the weeks of the term and how many events take place each week.

Miss Trudy Cadman

Assess convenor

Dr Chloe Porter

Assess convenor

Dr Lynne Cahill

Assess convenor

Ms Emma Carlyle

Assess convenor

Prof M.Lynne Murphy

Assess convenor, Convenor

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