Language and Linguistics Research Seminar

2016-2017 PROGRAMME

Monday 13 February 2017
M44, 2-3pm
Lucy Jones (Nottingham)
Subverting otherness and challenging ignorance: legitimate identity construction amongst transgender youth

Using discourse analysis, I will report here on moments of interaction between members of a support group for transgender youth. The extracts being analysed show four young people working collaboratively to construct a mutual identity, despite differences between them in terms of their gender, age, and experience. Their identity construction is achieved through the foregrounding of their relative expertise in, and experience of, transgender issues; this enables them to actively challenge and resist the ignorance of others, which they present as ‘othering’ them. In particular, the young people ridicule those who are ignorant and who (albeit implicitly) reproduce transphobic discourse. In doing so, I argue, they ascribe themselves agency and legitimacy by subverting the heteronormative ideologies which inform their experiences of transphobia. The young people thus construct an active, resistant, and validated mutual identity rather than a victimised, submissive, or othered one. The interaction detailed here reveals how speakers can jointly negotiate their identities in response to attacks or challenges to their validity, and I draw on theories from sociocultural linguistics in explaining this.  I also argue that the identity work produced by the young people reveals the enormously important role played by support groups and other agencies in helping young people to construct a positive persona in the face of heteronormative society.

Tuesday 2 February 2017
M44, 3-4pm
Patrick Honeybone (Edinburgh)
Lern yerself dialect writing
An exploration of non-standard phonology and its representation, with examples from Scouse.

Friday 11 November 2016
John Olsson (Bangor)
Who framed the President? A case study in forensic linguistics

Thursday 27 October 2016
M35, 12-1 pm
Charlotte Taylor (Sussex)
Mock politeness: Perceptions vs practice


For more information, please contact Prof Anthony Grant

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