Courses » Language and Society

Language and Society


Language is central to our existence. It is hard to think of ourselves, our societies, and culture without language. Language is a primary means of socialization. It interacts with the social, political and economic power structures. It is the primary medium for the construction
and transmission of knowledge and for the articulation of ideas. In short, language constitutes humans and their identities. All people either utilize varieties of a language or use two or more languages to respond to a whole range of affective and interpersonal demands; language by definition must be defined as multilingualism. The primary objective of this course is to examine relationship between language and society with respect to the nature of language. 


Core as well as elective, 

2031 students have enrolled already!!


Prof. Rajesh Kumar teaches linguistics in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras at Chennai.

Click here to view Faculty Profile: Prof.Rajesh Kumar


The exam is optional.

Exams will be on 1 November 2015 and 8 November, 2015. 

Time: 1pm-4pm

The list of cities where the exam will be conducted will be available in the registration form.

Registration URL: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.

The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee of Rs 1000, needs to be paid.


Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam. It will also have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras. It will also be e-verifiable on the
nptel.ac.in/noc website.


  • What is Language and what is scientific about it?
  • How language is constitutive of being human? 
  • What is the relationship between language and mind? 
  • How do we learn language? 
  • [Biological foundation and Generative explanation of language learning; Language Acquisition Device and Universal Grammar]
  • Critical period hypothesis 
  • Mother tongue (First and Second Language)
  • Competence and performance --- Form and Function
  • Language, dialect and variety (variation) 
  • Language Continuum
  • Linguistic Area
  • Language and Culture
  • How is language structured at the levels of sounds, words, and sentences? 
  • What is the relationship between language and human cognition?
  • Fluidity which results in multilinguality and human mind/cognition
  • How does multilingualism correlate with scholastic achievement, cognitive flexibility and social tolerance?