Moulay Ismail University

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

Semester V 

                                                                                                     Dr. D. CHOUIT



Course Description


The aim of this course is three-fold:

  1. To introduce students to the field of sociolinguistics, showing the social and cultural dynamics that impact on language use in particular contexts by different individuals, groups, communities or states, and scrutinizing theories of relevance to these fields;
  2. To introduce students to the field of pragmatics, taking into consideration the power of communication in creating our social worlds and in functioning in society(ies) in appropriate and effective ways, and explaining theories of communication that would empower students to this effect;
  3. To raise students' awareness that language itself is a power and that the power of language depends on how it is used in society by different social groups and different speech communities, whether it is used to reflect the dominating/dominated relationships, or it is used as a medium for promoting social justice, social equity and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity.    


Course Contents

I.                   Introduction

Overview of General Linguistics


II.                 Sociolinguistics

a.    The Scope of Sociolinguistics

b.    Preliminaries

        i.      Language and Dialect

       ii.      The Process of Standardization

      iii.      Speech Community

c.     Language Variation

        i.      Language and Social Context

            1.     Regional Varieties

            2.     Social Varieties (Sociolects)

            3.     Language and the Individual Speaker(Idiolects)

            4.     Linguistic Repertoire

            5.     Register / Styles

      ii.      Languages in Contact

            1.     Diglossia

            2.     Bilingualism

            3.     Code-Switching

            4.     Interference

            5.     Pidgin / Creole / Lingua Franca

       iii.      Language Attitudes

            1.     Language Attitude and Language Choice

            2.     Language Attitude and Language Planning

            3.     Language Attitude and Intercultural Communication in    multicultural contexts

           4.     Language Attitude and Power Relations

                  a.    Imposition and Reproduction of Power

                  b.    Solidarity

                  c.     Mutual Understanding and Social Equity

III.              Pragmatics: Language in Contexts

a.  Understanding the Communication Process                                                       

              i.      Components of Communication

             ii.      Principles of Communication

             iii.      Frameworks for the Study of Communication

             iv.       Communication and Identity

             v.      Barriers to Communication

b.    Pragmatics

             i.      Reference

            ii.      Deixis

           iii.      Speech Acts

            iv.      Relevance Theory

            v.      Language Change

           vi.      Discourse, Power, and Ideology



Bentahila, A. (1983). Language Attitudes Among Arabic-French Bilinguals in Morocco. UK: Multilingual Matters LTD.

Chrosniak, P.N. (2005). "Sociolinguistics." Encyclopedia of Anthropology. London: SAGE.

Cruse, A. (2006). A Glossary of Semantics and Pragmatics. Finland: Bookwell.

Ennaji, M. & Sadiqi, F. (1994). Applications of Modern Linguistics. Afrique-0rient.

Halliday, M. A. K. & Hasan, R. (1989). Language, Context and Text: Aspects of Language in a Social-Semiotic Perspective. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press

Hartley, L.C. (2003). "Sociolinguistics." Encyclopedia of Community. London: SAGE.

Singh, K. (2008). "Language Registers." Encyclopedia of Bilingual Education. London: SAGE. 

The Routledge Companion to Sociolinguistics. (2007). USA: Routledge.

Trudgill, P. (2000). Sociolinguistics: An Introduction to Language and Society. 4th ed. London: Penguin.

Wardhaugh, R. (2006).  An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. 6th ed.

USA: Blackwell.


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EL WD | Réponse 21.10.2017 16.11

Hello Teacher i really dont understund the meaning of the word " relations of power " or "power relationships" in socio-pragmatics cours .thank you in advance

El wd 24.10.2017 14.42

thank you Teacher

Dr. CHOUIT 24.10.2017 13.12

This refers to how different varieties of language may be used to reflect social relations of inequality, in terms of power and prestige.

El. Mustapha | Réponse 19.10.2017 03.53

Hope other students will check this out .

Ja TO | Réponse 30.03.2017 17.10


Houssam Bouya | Réponse 24.11.2016 21.02

thank you Dr. Chouit, for every thing you re really represente a good mdel of the most great teacher. this notes are very helpful

Voir tous les commentaires


31.12 | 15:40

This refers to Alternative Media that critique not only powerful forces, but also mainstream media; they are called the watchdogs of the watchdogs.

29.12 | 15:03

Hello Madame , Could you please explain what do we mean by the watchdog of the watchdog ? Thanks in advance

27.12 | 18:59

The media are successful in telling us what to think about refers to the Agenda-Setting Theory of the Press and to News Values. You should also address the implications of News Agenda Settings.

27.12 | 18:52

1. You should explain the second element of the statement "what to think about": News Agenda Setting based on News Values.
2. You should explain the first element of the statement: The media are not successful in telling us "what to think."

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