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Fiche de cours

The Politics of Language

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Anita Auer
Intervenant(s): -

Période de validité: 2018 -> 2018

Pas d'horaire défini.


Semestre de printemps
2 heures par semaine
28 heures par semestre

Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 0


Upon completion of the course students should
- have acquired insights into how language power relations have developed over time based on evidence taken from historical records and be able to apply this knowledge independently;
- be able understand key concepts in the research field of the politics of language, particularly with respect to different theoretical and methodological approaches;
- be able to compile/collect datasets and use them appropriately in order to shed light on issues related to the politics of language;
- be able to present their research results both orally and in written form (at the appropriate academic level).


This course explores the politics of language from a historical perspective, particularly the way in which language has shaped, and has been shaped by forms of socio-political power. The course will span in focus from the Middle Ages to post-colonial times and explore developments across the British Isles, North America, and other former British colonies.
We will consider historical attitudes towards dialectal differences, the interplay between authority and processes of standardisation, and the manner in which linguistic differences between people (also linked to social class, gender and migration) have been dealt with in the political arena and by institutions. The interplay between language and politics will be explored through a number of case studies such as Ireland, Wales, Scotland, North America, etc., notably based on historical documents, ego-documents, literary works and TV series such as Outlander. In addition to exploring different sociolinguistic histories, we will analyse the relevant political discourses and ideologies by applying the methods of critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics.


Details regarding evaluation will be discussed in the first class of this course. The information will be provided on Moodle.


Course reading consists of a range of different articles; details can be found on the course moodle page.

Exigences du cursus d'études

- At least C1-level (Common European Framework of Reference).
- BA degree and knowledge of (English) linguistics.

Informations supplémentaires


Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15