English and drama

Regional Variation in English

Module code: Q1081
Level 5
15 credits in autumn teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

This module provides an introduction to regional variation in the English language. The module is divided between an overview of the types of variation found and a practical part in which students will have the opportunity to explore an aspect of variation and/or change in an original research project. The first part will discuss aspects of accent variation, looking at major parameters of phonological differences and introducing some key accents in greater detail, and also explore grammatical and lexical differences between different regional varieties. Attention is also given to 'new' Englishes and creoles and their phonological, lexical and grammatical features.

The other part will provide students with the tools to conduct their own empirical analyses, including methods of data collection and an introduction to phonetic analysis software, and connect back to the Variation in English I module by bringing regional and social variation together in the students' own linguistic analyses of selected varieties of English.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate factual knowledge of the phonological, grammatical and lexical variation found in English and apply this knowledge in the analysis of texts.
  • Collect, organise and analyse original linguistic data.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the interplay of regional and social variation and its relation to historical change.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the social and linguistic factors that are responsible for regional variation.