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Fiche de cours

Synchronic Linguistics: English Dialects Past and Present

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

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

Période de validité: 2019 -> 2019

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 knowledge of the basic concepts and tools relevant to the study of English dialectology;
- be able to apply these concepts and tools to the English language;
- have gained a solid overview of the core areas that define the field of English dialectology.
- be able to compile/collect (diachronic and synchronic) datasets and use them appropriately in order to shed light on language use, i.e. analyse/interpret data, formulate hypotheses and test them, decide between competing argumentations.
- be able to analyse and interpret sets of linguistic data using variationist theory (and quantitative measures), with a particular focus on the effects of different variables;
- have developed the ability to present their research results both orally and in written form;
- be well prepared for (linguistic) studies on an MA level.


This course introduces students to historical and modern dialectology with a focus on theory, method and data analysis. Students will understand the difference between traditional dialectology and modern variationist studies. Both North American and British dialects, including Scots, will be discussed. We start the course by looking at methods and practices in early dialectology, and by tracing the evolution of the English language through the lens of dialectology. We then turn to more contemporary applications of dialect studies, incl. the use of apps, and explore the trajectory from the study of NORMS to a more dynamic, contemporary research focus. In that, we will not only consider dialect descriptions of English over time but also people's attitudes towards dialect use. Special attention will also be paid to the use of local accent and dialect features in pop music.


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


The accompanying literature will consist of a range of articles on the various topics discussed during the course; the relevant information is available on moodle.

Exigences du cursus d'études

- Introduction to English Language and Linguistics (IELL)
- Development of the English Language (DEL)

Informations supplémentaires


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