LIGN 8 University of California Embracing Language Varieties Linguistic Autobiography

For this assignment, you will connect your experience as a user of one or more American language to concepts covered throughout this course. Think about how your experience as a speaker of a language (or languages) has been formed and about who or what has been part of this formation. You should contextualize your experiences in the larger social setting and explore how these experiences have shaped your own attitudes about language.


  1. A thesis statement which connects your personal language experiences to at least one topic we have discussed in class.
  2. Develop the body of the paper connecting it to your topic and thesis statement – develop your thesis and how that relates to at least three concepts covered in class.
  3. A well-integrated reference to at least three academic sources (These should include concepts from the class readings, discussions, and lectures.
  4. Correct use of terms from class when appropriate (e.g., language shift, Three-Generation Rule, linguistic discrimination, mutual intelligibility, overt/covert prestige, diglossia, etc…)
  5. The paper should be clearly written, proofread, and no longer than 750
  6. If you submit a paper that does not address the above criterion you will receive a zero.

Thesis statement:

The thesis statement is the point of your paper; it should summarize how your personal experience relates to a concept from this course. It should be clear, concise, and the body of your paper should support and connect to it.


The references should be to academic papers i.e.: material we read or watched in class, or other academic sources (not Wikipedia or Google). Do not cite lecture slides – You should cite primary sources. This can include any of the course readings or other academic/scholarly articles or publications. If the reference is a non-academic source, like a video about language attitudes or a blog post about Mock Italian, you should justify its use i.e.: “This quote is representative about attitudes towards Chicanx Spanish”. You do not need to cite the terms we learned in class unless you are referencing a particular reading.

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