Syllabus for Communities, Speakers, Texts: Pragmatic and Sociolinguistic Perspectives on English

Språkgemenskaper, talare, texter: Pragmatiska och sociolingvistiska perspektiv på engelska


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5EN166
  • Education cycle: First cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: English G2F

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle
    G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

    Second cycle
    A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified.

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2016-02-03
  • Established by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: week 27, 2016
  • Entry requirements: English A1 and English B1
  • Responsible department: Department of English

Learning outcomes

Upon completing the component students will be able to

  • use appropriate sociolinguistic terminology in accounting for variation in the English language
  • demonstrate a command of the terminology used to describe contextually influenced linguistic meaning
  • demonstrate knowledge of the major theories and frameworks that guide research in pragmatics and sociolinguistics
  • summarise important findings in research in sociolinguistics and pragmatics
  • independently complete a small-scale research project analysing authentic language data
  • independently write a short research paper
  • make appropriate use of primary and secondary sources
  • actively and independently participate in seminar discussions.


The course examines how the English language varies in use according to contextual factors. By applying theories and analytical frameworks from the fields of pragmatics and sociolinguistics, we discover how speakers and writers use the English language to communicate meanings, carry out actions, signal membership in speech communities, and achieve styles in talk and writing. In the pragmatics portion of the course, we consider the ways in which meaning is context dependent and the ways in which speakers achieve goals using language. In the sociolinguistics portion of the course, we analyse the linguistic resources with which speakers show their connection to a given community and express identity. Students will use primarily qualitative research methods to complete assignments and short research papers.


Group instruction. Active participation in course seminars is obligatory. In cases of absence students will be given the opportunity to complete an extra assignment within the framework of the course period.


Examination is done in the form of oral presentations, written assignments, and written final examinations. Grades used are either Fail, Pass, or Pass with Distinction.

Students who do not achieve a passing grade on the regular examination will have another opportunity to take the examination within a reasonable period of time after the regular examination.

Students who fail a certain examination twice have the right upon request, following consultation with the head of department, to have another examiner appointed.

Transitional provisions

For transitional regulations in the case of changes in the syllabus, please contact the student adviser.

Other directives

The course cannot be counted toward a degree if an equivalent course/module is included in the degree.

If the syllabus or course reading for a component has been changed, students have a right to be examined under the original syllabus and course reading on three occasions during the following three semesters. Normally this right then expires. Otherwise there are no limitations on the number of examination opportunities.

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: week 01, 2019

  • Meyerhoff, Miriam Introducing sociolinguistics

    Third edition.: 2019

    Find in the library


  • Cutting, Joan. Pragmatics : a resource book for students

    Third edition.: Routledge: Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, 2015.

    Find in the library


  • The Cambridge Handbook of Pragmatics

    Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012

    Find in the library

  • Thomas, Jenny Meaning in interaction : an introduction to pragmatics

    London: Longman, 1995

    Find in the library

Reading list revisions