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The exam consists of two sections. Answers must be provided to both Section A and Section B. Each section counts for 50%.

Grade: out of 40, scaled down to 20


Section A (20 marks)

  • Define the following terms: from ch1., Ch 2, Ch 3 and  Ch 4(4 marks)

  • Provide the technical term used in sociolinguistics for the following concepts/ linguistic behaviours/ aspects from ch1. Ch 2, Ch 3 and Ch. 4 (4 marks)

PS: make sure you have definitions of all the sociolinguistic terms we covered; if not in the summaries, google concise and clear ones (e.g. rhoticity, speech community, translatability, connotation, denotation, code-switching, domain, language shift, language death, etc.)

  • A question about Labov's New York Department store experiment. What is the method that Labov used to observe rhotic /r/ uses among different classes in New York?/ What was Labov's finding in his New York Department store experiment?/ On what basis did he classify the shops according to class?/ What is rapid anonymous survey? How did Labov used this tool to collect data? What is strong/weak version Sapir and Whorf hypothesis? (6 marks)

  • A question in which you provide a list in bullet points. e.g. What are the three curtail features of diglossia?/What is people's different attitudes to code-switching?/ When are the social factors affecting linguistic choice? / what are the social dimensions of linguistic choice? / What are H variety and L variety?/ What are the factors contirbuting to language shift?/ How can a minority language be maintained? / (6 marks)


Section B (20 marks)

  •  For each of the following, define which linguistic behavior/ phenomena/ choice is being made. Then, in six to ten lines, describe what is happening (10 marks each, 20 total).

  • A: a description of language choice in a specific community


Example 1:

Brunei Malay

Hanafi is a 27 year old teacher in Brunei. For formal communiction at work and with other institutions he uses Standard Malay (Bahasa Melayu) while he uses Brunei Malay throughout society and with his family. One major difference between these dialects of Malay is that Brunei Malay tends to have the verb at the front, while Standard Malay generally places it after the subject. It has been estimated that 84% of core vocabulary in Brunei Malay and Standard Malay is cognate,  though their pronunciation often differs very considerably. While Standard Malay has six vowels, Brunei Malay has only three: /a, i, u/.


One complicating factor is that English is also widely used in Brunei, especially in education, as it is the medium of instruction from upper primary school onwards. Another code is the special palace register of Brunei Malay, which includes an elaborate system of honorific terms for addressing and referring to the Sultan and other nobles. Finally, although Standard Malay is used for sermons in the, readings from the Quran are in Arabic.


Example 2

In 1840, two thirds of the Welsh people spoke Welsh, but by 1980, only 20% of the population spoke Welsh, therefore the Welsh people began a revival process of Welsh language by using a Welsh-language TV channel and bilingual education programs that used Welsh as medium of instruction at schools.


  • B: an extract from a conversation




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