Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

M.A. in Modern Languages

First Advisor

Larisa Warhol

Second Advisor

Allison Burkette

Third Advisor

Tamara Warhol

Abstract

Despite diverging theories concerning the dissimilarities between male and female speakers, there is a general consensus that there is relevance in the relationship between gender and language, especially when considering the sociolinguistic effects of gender in second language acquisition and for the L2 learner. While there is a wealth of publications dedicated to examining the relationship between gendered roles and language, the idea of superseding the study of gender roles with a more comprehensive and considered study of gender identities has not been as forthcoming until very recently. Furthermore, there is little significant research into the relationship between gender identity and language when the context of discourse takes place among speakers that have throughout history been considered deviant rather than normative. As such, this study investigates how lesbian identities are constructed for women native to the Southern region of the United Sates, and how, or to what degree, language is a facet of this construction. The research for this study will be qualitative in nature and be framed per Irving Seidman's Interviewing as Qualitative Research: A Guide for Researchers in Education and the Social Sciences.

Concentration/Emphasis

Applied Linguistics and TESOL

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