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BA Linguistics and German / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
Stylistics of English
|Unit level||Level 2|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course introduces students to the analysis of the registers of the English language and their internal linguistic variation. The course aims at providing an understanding of the concepts of register, genre, and style, as well as a practical ability in analysing texts using computational and statistical methods. The main topic of the course is the analysis of register and how language varies according to use. The course also introduces the students to the application of a multidimensional analysis to the exploration of register differences between text types. In addition, the course also focuses on the linguistic variation in English dependent on the characteristics of its author, thus exploring how style varies by social groups and across individuals.
This course is strongly recommended for LELA31632 Forensic Linguistics.
The principal aims of the course unit are as follows:
- To understand the notion of register, genre, and style
- To understand how English texts vary linguistically for register and style
- To know the most important advances in register analysis
- To be able to apply linguistic techniques to describe the register of a text
The syllabus below is an indication only:
Week 1. Registers, genres, styles
Week 2. Register analysis and the situational parameters
Week 3. The analysis of linguistic features
Week 4. The spoken registers of English
Week 5. The written registers of English
Week 6. Historical evolution of English registers
Week 7. Multidimensional analysis
Week 8. The register space of English
Week 9. Styles and text types
Week 10. Register variation and sociolinguistics
Week 11. Revision
Teaching and learning methods
The teaching for the course will include lectures and computer lab sessions. Lectures and supporting materials will be made available on Blackboard.
Knowledge and understanding
- Have an in-depth understanding of the concepts of register, genre, and style
- Have an understanding of the basic methodologies for register analysis
- Have a thorough understanding of the linguistic characteristics of the most common registers of the English language
- Know the main theoretical notions on sociolinguistic variation in style
- Critically evaluate the literature regarding register analysis
- Be able to describe the extra-linguistic context of a text
- Be able to describe the linguistic features of a text in relation to its context
- Apply qualitative and computational linguistic methods to identify linguistic variation
- Be able to use computational methods to apply a multidimensional analysis
- Be able to apply the essential statistics for the comparison of registers
Transferable skills and personal qualities
- Develop analytical skills
- Develop verbal and written communication skills
- Be able to apply descriptive linguistic techniques to analyse real world texts
- Develop ability to use computational and statistical methods
- Analytical skills
- Students will develop analytical skills at high level, especially in the field of the analysis of natural language.
- Through the application of computational and statistical techniques, students will be equipped with useful knowledge that can be applied to data mining of English texts.
- Written communication
- Finally, students will benefit from enhanced spoken and written communicative skills, in particular in relation to the expression of precise and concise analytical conclusions.
- Students will also develop profound knowledge of the registers of the English language, thus allowing them to critically assess texts for their appropriateness given a particular communicative situation.
Formative or Summative
Coursework - An assignment reporting on a register analysis of two registers chosen by the students.
Formative or Summative
Written feedback on proposal
Mock exam feedback
Written feedback on coursework/exam
Biber, D. 1988. Variation across Speech and Writing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Biber, D. 1989. “A Typology of English Texts.” Linguistics 27 (1): 3–43.
Biber, D., and Conrad, S. 2009. Register, Genre, and Style. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press.
Cloran, C. 1989. “Learning through Language: The Social Construction of Gender.” In Language Development: Learning Language, Learning Culture, edited by Hasan, R. & Martin, J, 111–51. Norwood, NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation.
Halliday, M. A. K., and Hasan, R. 1989. Language, Context, and Text: Aspects of Language in a Social-Semiotic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Leigh Harrington||Unit coordinator|