LING 303 – Sociolinguistics
Department of Applied Linguistics
Observation Project – SEM 141
One of the areas of interest for sociolinguists is how language is used in society and particularly the patterns that can be observed within a particular community.
For this project you will be working in pairs to research regional dialects. You may choose between English or Arabic. For either choice, it is your responsibility to ensure that you will have access to speakers of that language and/or dialect in order to conduct the research. You may choose from three tasks. Choose only one (1). The tasks to complete this project are as follows:
Step 1: Choose a language and region. Examples would be Al-Hijaz, Al-Najd, the Midwest of the USA or individual cities and states. No matter which language you choose, it is advisable that you choose a particular region for which you will have access to speakers. It is also advisable that you stick to one region as getting a good sampling of an equal number of speakers from various regions may be difficult and will require more work than you have time for. In order to find variation, consider the following:
- Different age groups (Think of grandparents, parents, friends)
- If possible speak to males and females. You can ask your fathers, brothers, uncles, etc.
Step 2: Select a list of words for speakers to pronounce. It is important that you choose words that you are more likely to observe variation. A different word is just that, a different word. It does not constitute variation in pronunciation. Choose questions to ask in order to illicit vocabulary used. You should select at least ten (10) of each. Words and questions should be chosen with the expectation of finding variation. In other words, you should have in mind the fact that there will be variations in pronunciation and word usage. Grammatical differences are also a possibility.
Step 3: In order to better understand your findings, it is better to have an audio recording. This does not mean video as we are focusing on what you hear. This is also something that you should ask of speakers beforehand. You may use any method you like to collect your data, such as surveys, interviews, and/or social media. You may also request that individuals respond as you saw in the accent challenge clip posted on the site.
Step 1: Choose a linguistic feature (sound(s), words/phrases, grammar form) to investigate.
Step 2: Decide what you want to investigate. For example, you may want to investigate/examine the use of a phrase such as, “يا ناس” in Yanbu.
It would require you to ask multiple individuals about their use of the phrase including when, why and with whom or in what situations. You may gather this information using any of the methods mentioned previously such as interviews, surveys, etc..
Step 1: Choose a specific group of people in a specific region to investigate their language use. An example could be high school girls at the First High School in Yanbu Al-Sinaiyah.
Step 2: Listen to natural, unscripted conversation and note any distinct features.
Step 4: All options
Record and report your findings.
- What observations were made during this process?
- Did you notice any patterns? For example, did you notice any changes based on age, gender, or location? Any other patterns?
- For option 3, what distinct features did you observe? Were there any differences between them? What conclusions can you make about these differences?
- You will need to list all variants you found which is why it is better to have recorded documentation of what was observed.
- Write a report explaining your findings in the form of a formal report. Refer to http://apastyle.org for assistance.
Remember: Each time you find a variation or find something distinct, you need to record it. You may want to keep the items in a single notebook.
Topic: comparing between Arabic Lebanese dialect and Arabic Hijazi dialect
Summery of the study
Propose of study
-Data collection procedures
-Result and dissection