Language and identity practice : a sociolinguistic study of gender in Ottawa, Ontario

Hazenberg, Evan Nicholas Leo (2012) Language and identity practice : a sociolinguistic study of gender in Ottawa, Ontario. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

[S]ocial identity is not usually explicitly encoded by language but rather is a social meaning that one usually infers on the basis of one's sense of [...] linguistic constructions. -- (Ochs, 1993: 289) -- Contemporary theories posit that gender is performative (e.g., Butler, 1990): that it is something one does rather than something one has. Early variationist sociolinguists (e.g., Labov, 1963) saw sex as a social variable, while later researchers (e.g., Livia & Hall, 1997) focused instead on gender, including expressions of sexuality. The study of transsexuality and language variation is a recent addition to the field (e.g., Kulick. 1999). -- This study examines three sociolinguistic variables ([s], intensifiers, and prosodic variation) across a six-cell gender division (straight men and women, queer men and women, and transsexual men and women) in Ottawa, Canada, to investigate the linguistic resources that are used in the construction and presentation of gender. These variables show different patterns of usage across the gender groups, suggesting a relationship between the markedness of a variable (how aware speakers are that it indexes gender) and the strategies speakers adopt in using it. Transsexual speakers avoid using extremely gender-marked forms, while straight men use linguistic cues to distance themselves socially from queer men. These patterns are supported by Bucholtz & Hall's (2005) framework of sociocultural linguistics, which argues for an interactional model of identity and performance.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/2346
Item ID: 2346
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 117-125).
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English language--Social aspects--Ontario--Ottawa; English language--Gender; Language and languages--Sex differences--Ontario--Ottawa; Sociolinguistics--Ontario--Ottawa; Gender identity--Ontario--Ottawa

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