Language of Life

  • Course code: UPNNES-15-2
  • Credit number: 15
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Course description: This module explores the ways in which people use language to talk about major staging posts in their lives – particularly based around the traditional hatches, matches and dispatches. These areas will be explored from an historical and anthropological linguistic perspective and will allow students to gain an understanding for how the way that we talk about life events reflects the social and cultural import of birth, courtship and death. The module also allows for a level of (self-)reflection and recognises that talking openly and candidly about periods of liminality in the life-cycle is a healthy way of addressing anxiety. The module will consider amongst other matters: naming customs and practices, the influence of technology in interaction between partners in fledgling romantic relationships, expressions of love across cultures, and taboos around death and talking about the deceased. The module recognises that these aspects are all part of the human condition but are experienced differently by individuals. It seeks to draw out the commonalities found in the ways that we talk about the life events. The module encourages a sensitive and detailed investigation of these happenings.