In this assignment you will be using the data collected by the class in Assignment 3 that consists of the
(responses to thank you) variable using the rapid and anonymous survey methodology. You may work
individually or in pairs. If you wish to work in pairs you must notify Prof. Denis by March 13th to tell
him who your partner is. One email per pair is sufficient. If you do not notify Prof. Denis that you are
working in pairs, you will be expected to hand in individual assignments. If you wish to work independently,
you do not need to notify Prof. Denis. On March 14th, you will be randomly assigned a subset of
the data to use in your assignment. You must use the data set assigned to you.
Your assignment is to analyze the sociolinguistic patterns in the data set by investigating at least three
conditioning factors on the responses to thank you. You must also investigate at least one interaction
between two conditioning factors. You will be required to provide graphs of your results. You may make
these graphs using whatever method you prefer (Excel, R, by-hand, etc.).
Your aim is to write a short report (no more than 2 pages, excluding graphs) that provides a clear picture
of the sociolinguistic status of this variable. You should not just state the quantitative results for your
conditioning factors (i.e., ‘men use uh-huh more than women’). Rather, you should start by thinking about
sociolinguistic questions to ask about the variable and choose conditioning factors to investigate that will
help you answer those questions. You may investigate more than one question if you wish.
You can come up with any relevant sociolinguistic question but here are some you might consider:
Is there a change in progress happening?
Is there evidence that one variant is more formal/standard/polite than another variant?
Is there evidence for different kinds of social stratification?
Have non-native speakers generally adopted the same system that native speakers use?
You will have to think carefully about the conditioning factors (and possible interactions between them)
that you would want to consider. For example, if you wanted to investigate the possibility of change in
progress, you might want to consider Age to see if the frequency has changed over apparent time, but
also the interaction between Age and Gender to see if the data conforms to the principles of change that
we have discussed in class before.
It will be critical for you to attend tutorial on March 14th. In this tutorial, you will be shown how to
work with your dataset in Excel (or another spreadsheet program) in order to analyze your data.
You do not need to consult any other research or literature besides my slides and the textbook but if you do
cite another source, you must provide a reference list and use correct embedded citation practices. If you
are unsure how to do this, you should ask Prof. Denis for advice. Incorrectly citing someone else’s work
or failing to cite someone else’s work are examples of plagiarism and are considered academic offences!
Your assignment is due at the beginning of the final lecture on April 2nd. This is a firm deadline. The
penalty for lateness is 10% per day, up to 6 days (including Saturdays and Sundays).