Fundamental Concepts in Sociolinguistics

By Prof. Om Prakash   |   IIT Madras
Learners enrolled: 414
Language is a social reality. Language facilitates socialization process and configures patterns of our relationship with each other. It becomes a marker of tour identity and a common thread that binds us together. It is imperative to understand that our social order is developed alongside our linguistic allegiance, shared narratives, collective memories, and common social history. This course discusses some of the fundamental concepts in sociolinguistics that enables us understanding the nature, scope and various social manifestations of language.

  • UG/PG students of Linguistics, Sociology, Literature, Mass Communication as Core Paper
  • BE/ME/MS/BSc/MSc/PhD etc. students as Elective Paper
Course Status : Completed
Course Type : Core
Duration : 12 weeks
Start Date : 26 Jul 2021
End Date : 15 Oct 2021
Exam Date : 23 Oct 2021 IST
Enrollment Ends : 09 Aug 2021
Category :
  • Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit Points : 3
Level : Undergraduate/Postgraduate

Page Visits

Course layout

Week 1 : Language as a System of Sub-systems; Hockett’s Design Features  
Week 2 : Language as a Social Reality; Language and Culture 
Week 3 : Linguistic Relativity: Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis; Language and Gender  
Week 4 : Language and Identity; Language Myths 
Week 5 : Speech Community; Standard and Vernacular Languages 
Week 6 : Process of Standardization; Dialects, Sociolects and Register 
Week 7 : Language Maintenance and Language Shift; Bilingualism: Compound, Coordinate, Subordinate 
Week 8 : Multilingualism; Code Switching and Code Mixing 
Week 9 : Pidgin and Creole; Language, Contact, and Variation
Week 10 : Linguistic Diversity of India: Language Families: Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, Tibeto-Burman; Language Census of India 
Week 11 : Language Policy and Planning in India: Scheduled Languages [Schedule VIII], Official Language Act, Trilingual Formula  
Week 12 : Languages in the Constitution of India 

Books and references

  • Hudson, R. A. (2011). Sociolinguistics. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press 2nd Edition. 
  • Fasold, Ralph. W. (1990) The Sociolinguistics of Language, Oxford: Blackwell. 
  • Lyons, John (the 15th Edition reprinted 2014) Language and Linguistics: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press.

Instructor bio

Prof. Om Prakash

IIT Madras
Om Prakash teaches courses in the areas of Linguistics, English Language Teaching, and Communication Theories in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Gautam Buddha University. He received his M.A., M.Phil., and PhD in linguistics from University of Delhi, India. He has published in journals of national and international repute. He conducts workshops in language teaching and communication for school teachers. His broader areas of research include emerging fields in Applied Linguistics and an interface of Language, Media and Contemporary Society. He seeks to explore changing forms and functions of language in the context of ever-emerging network society.

Course certificate

The course is free to enroll and learn from. But if you want a certificate, you have to register and write the proctored exam conducted by us in person at any of the designated exam centres.
The exam is optional for a fee of Rs 1000/- (Rupees one thousand only).
Date and Time of Exams: 23 October 2021 Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon Session 2pm to 5pm.
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 needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published. If there are any changes, it will be mentioned then.
Please check the form for more details on the cities where the exams will be held, the conditions you agree to when you fill the form etc.


Average assignment score = 25% of average of best 8 assignments out of the total 12 assignments given in the course.
Exam score = 75% of the proctored certification exam score out of 100

Final score = Average assignment score + Exam score

YOU WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR A CERTIFICATE ONLY IF AVERAGE ASSIGNMENT SCORE >=10/25 AND EXAM SCORE >= 30/75. If one of the 2 criteria is not met, you will not get the certificate even if the Final score >= 40/100.

Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras .It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.

Only the e-certificate will be made available. Hard copies will not be dispatched.

Once again, thanks for your interest in our online courses and certification. Happy learning.

- NPTEL team

MHRD logo Swayam logo


Goto google play store