Language and Societies

ANT/LIN 5320 at Wayne State University

Language and Societies abstracts, vol. 13 (2021)

The abstracts below are summaries of papers by early-career scholars from the 2021 edition of my course, Language and Societies. The authors are undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology and linguistics at Wayne State University. Comments and questions are extremely welcome, especially at this critical juncture, when the authors are making final revisions to their papers.

Noelle Belanger: Lavender Linguistics and the Discourse in Online Sapphic Communities

Lily Conquest: Connecting Cultures: Medical Interpreter Ideology and Role Construction

Matthew Defauw: Fast-food Billboard Advertisements: A Semiotic Linguistic Approach to Syntax

Jenna Huntley: Anatomical Jargon: Modest or Arrogant?

Antione Martin: Interpretations of Heart Disease: “The Socialization of Providers”

Raveena Mata: The Versatility of Water: Metaphor and Imagery in Sikh Scripture

Mariah McClendon-Smith: Sassy, Moody, Nasty: The Performance of Sexuality through Language by Black Women in Hip-Hop

Nicole Mullins: “You’re not my Real Mom!” Biological Vs. Socially Constructed Motherhood: A Discursive Analysis of Childless Stepmother Blogs on Identity

Virginia Nastase: United States Abortion Discourse: An Examination of Problematic Terms

Jocie Osika: Commodification of Teen Girls and the Negotiation of Their Fates through Heart Gallery Descriptions

Sydney Queen: Truth and Telepathy: The Optics of Lying in Ursula K. Le Guin’s City of Illusions

Gavin Redding: Words of Faith: The Missionary Linguistic Practices of Frederic Baraga and Sela G. Wright

LH Sharp: The Language of Climate Change Mitigation Strategies in US Media Discourse:
A Compound Carbon Metaphor Theme Analysis

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | Leave a comment

The Language of Climate Change Mitigation Strategies in US Media Discourse: A Compound Carbon Metaphor Theme Analysis

The Language of Climate Change Mitigation Strategies in US Media Discourse:
A Compound Carbon Metaphor Theme Analysis

LH Sharp

Evaluating the language of climate change mitigation strategies, especially those addressing rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, is vital to understanding how our perceptions of complex subjects are shaped between media, political, and public discourses. The goal of this research is to build upon prior metaphor studies by identifying and analyzing dominant themes of compound carbon metaphors used by US television and newspaper outlets between 1990 – 2019 using the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA). Using the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that experience is informed and structured by language, this paper argues that a shift in dominant metaphor themes used in media over time can impact public perceptions of climate change mitigation strategies. Currently, climate change mitigation metaphors are dominated by market terms such as CARBON TAX and CARBON TRADING. While more research across a greater number of media sources is needed, a Marxist deconstruction of media-based market metaphors from COCA shows how a reframing of climate change abstractions into emergent conflict metaphors (such as CARBON BOMB) has the potential to influence public and political perceptions of and responses to climate change mitigation strategies.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Words of Faith: The Missionary Linguistic Practices of Frederic Baraga and Sela G. Wright

Words of Faith: The Missionary Linguistic Practices of Frederic Baraga and Sela G. Wright

Gavin Redding

In the history of linguistics as a discipline, missionaries have served a central role in documenting indigenous languages. Missionary linguistics has been the field that has examined and analyzed this important process in the history of linguistics. Using Victor Hanzeli’s Missionary Linguistics in New France, a classic in the field, as a point of comparison, this paper investigates the missionary work of Frederic Baraga and Sela G. Wright, two missionaries who documented the Ojibwe language. Both these missionaries did their work in the 19th century, a period in missionary linguistics, at least in North America, less explored. This paper seeks to explore what common themes can be pulled out of this later missionary work when compared to the missionaries Hanzeli details. Areas explored include the importance of language to the mission, educational context, especially the importance of classical grammar training, the context of each missionary’s work, and their ultimate civilizing mission. Each of the later missionaries’ body of documentation is compared to the portrait Hanzeli provides of the earlier missionaries as a point of comparison. From these categories a portrait of the later era is drawn to be compared to the earlier. While Frederic Baraga’s work, and to a lesser extent Sela G. Wright’s, mirrors the earlier missionaries’ work, especially when it comes to the privileging of letter over sound, both the later missionaries place themselves in the context of, and find themselves drawing on, the emerging ethnography of their day.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Truth and Telepathy: The Optics of Lying in Ursula K. Le Guin’s City of Illusions

Truth and Telepathy: The Optics of Lying in Ursula K. Le Guin’s City of Illusions

Sydney Queen

Ursula K. Le Guin has often been revered for her application of linguistic and anthropological concepts in fiction, especially within her main body of science fiction work, The Hainish Cycle. One of Le Guin’s earlier and less well-known novels from this series, City of Illusions, explores the social, cultural, and political implications of mankind’s ability to lie. After establishing the relationship between science fiction and anthropology, this paper investigates the metalinguistic beliefs, cultural attitudes, and norms of lying maintained by the two opposing fictional groups in the novel. These beliefs, however, are complicated by the presence of telepathy in the Hainish universe. The intent (or lack thereof) to lie changes the way characters employ language, as well as what mode of communication they use in a reliably consistent manner. City of Illusions’ publication precedes much of the academic work about deception in anthropological linguistics, and at times seems predictive of analyses involving prototype semantics, questions of intention, or imperialism, making it worthy of comparison. Through a close reading of the text and a literature review on the existing array of research on lying, linguistic power structures that closely mirror historical and modern colonization emerge, as well as a dichotomy that differentiates between interpersonal lies and political ones. 

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Commodification of Teen Girls and the Negotiation of Their Fates through Heart Gallery Descriptions

Commodification of Teen Girls and the Negotiation of Their Fates through Heart Gallery Descriptions

Jocie Osika

In an attempt to increase adoption rates of harder to place children, governments and organizations have turned to the internet, photolisting and describing children in what has been termed as “heart galleries.” This paper examines negotiative language in the heart gallery descriptions of teenage girls at the intersection of gendered familial roles, human commodification, and the American foster and adoption system. Through investigation of the structure, content, and language of such descriptions, the marketlike structure of the American adoption system and some of the ways in which it interacts with morality and gender are revealed. Heart gallery profiles, written by adults for an audience of adults, routinely negotiate between what a child can offer a family and what they need in return. In the case of teen girls, this paper’s close reading indicates that promises related to traditionally feminine emotional and physical labor through childcare, cooking, chores, general helpfulness, and physical beauty are juxtaposed with requirements of potential families as a tactic for increasing the likelihood of successful adoption. This examination of heart galleries under the framework of the adoption system as a marketplace calls into question the moral implications of heart gallery listings and whether they do more harm than good.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 5 Comments

United States Abortion Discourse: An Examination of Problematic Terms

United States Abortion Discourse: An Examination of Problematic Terms

Virginia Nastase

This paper examines how United States abortion discourse has changed from the 19th century to the present. As Ahearn and Duranti have shown, language use can generate issues of agency, shape ideologies and create new social realities. This is no different with abortion discourse throughout this time period. Through discourse analysis and literature review, this paper explorse how certain terms used in abortion discourse reflect ideological perspectives and affect perceptions within the United States’ abortion debate of the last two centuries. The research shows that the referents “elective abortion” and “therapeutic abortion” are used in specific contexts and have helped to construct a social reality around abortion discourse. This has had an effect on public perception surrounding abortion which has shaped negative experiences for women considering abortion. Negative connotations surrounding abortion discourse can involve feelings of guilt or shame for a woman and sometimes generate problems with accessibility to the procedure. Using theories of agency, this research demonstrates, on a broader level, how abortion discourse since the 19th century has continued to shape modern perspectives on abortion and how the use of the terms elective and therapeutic abortion remains problematic for a woman’s agency and accessibility regarding abortion. 

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

“You’re not my Real Mom!” Biological Vs. Socially Constructed Motherhood: A Discursive Analysis of Childless Stepmother Blogs on Identity

“You’re not my Real Mom!” Biological Vs. Socially Constructed Motherhood: A Discursive Analysis of Childless Stepmother Blogs on Identity

Nicole Mullins

50% marriages end in divorce within the first 7 years; of those whose marriages fail, 75% remarry, with men at the vanguard.  As a result, outside women, many without biological children, are being introduced into the pre-established family unit as stepmothers, an ambiguous and otherized role.  Drawing on previous research on gender in the American bilateral kinship structure, kinship terminology, as well as Bourdieu’s theory of the economics of linguistic exchanges, this paper seeks to answer questions regarding a childless stepmother’s sense of inclusion and self-worth in the micro-group of the blended family through conducting a discourse analysis of several step-mothering blogs.  This paper also seeks to answer questions concerning women in stepmother roles on the macro-cultural scale by engaging with past work regarding the use of categorization to construct cultural models of womanhood, motherhood, and step-motherhood.  Blog posts written by childless stepmothers to offer advice to others in similar positions reveal that not only do these women feel their identity is altered upon becoming a stepmother but it is also one that is constantly shifting due to the lack of established kinship status within the blended family resulting in conflict, anxiety, and a lack of power within the familial group.  Further affecting the positionality of stepmothers within the blend family are cultural models which link womanhood to biological motherhood in a “violent mothering hierarchy” which places the socially constructed childless stepmothers at the bottom.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Sassy, Moody, Nasty: The Performance of Sexuality through Language by Black Women in Hip-Hop

Sassy, Moody, Nasty: The Performance of Sexuality through Language by Black Women in Hip-Hop

Mariah McClendon-Smith

On the topic of hip-hop music, scholarly debates have ensued for decades about whether sexually explicit lyrics of Black female rappers are degrading to women or a means of empowerment. In taking the stance that these lyrics and explicit performances of sexuality are empowering, this essay uses Black feminist theory to go beyond the debate and explore how such expressions combat racial and sexist stereotypes and expectations of Black women. Furthermore, this essay explores how explicit sexual performances can be empowering while also demonstrating how the spectrum of sexual expression has been broadened by contemporary female rappers. What linguistic strategies do these rappers employ for combating negative stereotypes in their music? How do such performances fit into racialized expectations of Black women? How are these performances perceived by the public and how do these artists respond? What implications do these performances have on how Black girls and women shape their sexual identities? If we are to move beyond the degrading/non-degrading binary, how might answering these questions help us do that? To build on previous research by H. Samy Alim, Valerie Chepp, and others about Black women in hip-hop this essay uses rapper Megan Thee Stallion as a case study by delving into a thematic analysis of her lyrics, exploring critiques of her work, and unpacking her responses to them. Ultimately, women like Megan Thee Stallion are multifaceted; judging Megan, and artists like her, solely based on sexually explicit lyrics, reduces them to stereotypical characterizations and undermines other potentialities for these expressions.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

The Versatility of Water: Metaphor and Imagery in Sikh Scripture

The Versatility of Water: Metaphor and Imagery in Sikh Scripture

Raveena Mata

This paper draws on conceptual metaphor theory, developed by Lakoff & Johnson, to understand how water is used as a source domain in the poetry of Sikh scripture to describe more abstract spiritual concepts as target domains. It attempts to answer the question: “How does the poetry of Sikh scripture harness the versatility of water to convey various moods, emotions, and frames of reference in one’s journey to merging with the Divine?” A literature review and in-depth, conceptual analysis were conducted based on different references to water and its variants (rain, thunder, storm, clouds, etc.). A few key metaphorical themes that were identified include: water as omnipresent divinity, water as a source of life, and water as a symbol of mercy, among others. Thus, this analysis explores how descriptions of water are used to relate both culturally specific and cross-culturally relevant meanings, contributing another layer of insight to Sikh paradigms and philosophy.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | Leave a comment

Interpretations of Heart Disease: “The Socialization of Providers”

Interpretations of Heart Disease: “The Socialization of Providers”

Antione Martin

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among persons in the U.S. However, African Americans (AA) bear the burden of having the highest risk and deaths related to heart disease. Symptoms such as high blood pressure, obesity, diet, physical activity, and systemic racism are contributing factors to heart disease. Yet, few studies examine medical providers’ (MP) & public health professionals’ (PHP) perspectives about underlying causes leading to AA’s increased risk. As mediators to improved health outcomes, it is pertinent to explore MP and PHP’s understanding and outlook about the factors they perceive related to heart disease in AAs. Previous research indicates that MPs and PHPs undergo a socialization process in their educational studies that influences their perspectives on social factors contributing to disease etiology. This study seeks to understand the varying groups of MPs and PHPs – traditional medical provider, naturopathic medical providers, and public health professionals – interpretation of underlying causes contributing to heart disease in AAs. Several webinar and podcast recordings featuring MP and PHP discussions on heart disease in AAs were transcribed and reviewed. Linguistic features along with remarks and comments from MP and PHP groups were compared and contrasted. Findings highlighted common themes and linguistic features among provider’s interpretation of contributions to heart disease in AAs such as “patient’s beliefs about predisposition to heart disease, the impact of structural/systemic racism, exercising passive voice, responsibility of blame, and patient’s dietary intake.” However, there were distinctions in how each provider group addressed and approached treatment for heart disease in AAs. Implications for future research should focus on MP and PHP educational studies/training, particularly on the socialization of medical and public health students and their treatment and care approaches to AA populations.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Anatomical Jargon: Modest or Arrogant?

Anatomical Jargon: Modest or Arrogant?

Jenna Huntley

This paper is a discourse analysis of anatomical jargon in the sphere of forensic anthropology public engagement, including interviews, expert witness testimony in a court of law, and blog postings. The focus of this paper is the usage of standard and common terms for the human body (clavicle vs collar bone) using academic articles from similar disciplines of criminal justice and anatomy, as well as forensic anthropologists work from Tim White and Dawnie Steadman’s student textbooks. Research was also done on public engagement aspects such as podcasts (Ologies with Alie Ward, AnthroBiology, and The Forensic Anthropology Companion Podcast), public blogs (Powered by Osteons, These Bones of Mine, National Geographic, and MAPA) as well as popular True Crime television shows like Bones and Forensic Files to see how the professionals use jargon. This paper delves into public opinions of anatomical jargon to see if the standard is informative and easy to follow or if it seen as boring, off-putting, and arrogant. Based on the lack of academic writing specifically for this topic, a general consensus can be made that the terminology forensic anthropologists use is based on two things: how they were taught and by whom, and personal preference to keep it simple.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

Fast-food Billboard Advertisements: A Semiotic Linguistic Approach to Syntax

Fast-food Billboard Advertisements: A Semiotic Linguistic Approach to Syntax

Matthew Defauw

Far and wide, marketing projects acknowledge and affirm the omnipresent nature of the billboard advertisement. Yet, automobiles move vicariously within motorways, their drivers unaware of the true linguistic impacts of these imposing structures upon their routinized schedules. This study takes a semiotic approach to explore the specific linguistic nuances that exist within the syntax of fast-food billboard advertising. With a plethora of linguistic analysis about the semiotics of advertising mediums, there is minimal research that primarily focuses on billboard advertisement alone. Through dissecting popular fast-food chain billboard advertisements, three syntactical structures pertaining to language are parsed out for the reader. Conversely, a semiotic method of examination will be applied to these separate syntactical formations to interpret, formalize, and ask questions about their specific qualities. How do words provoke thought? Do syntactic elements have an impact on advertisement? Words within advertisements are not just random. Rather, these phrases take into consideration the stage in which the intended audience is situated.  The language within fast-food billboards has been orchestrated in a means that is spatially aware of the restaurant in relation to the consumer. Unlike other advertisements in the language landscape, billboards continue to take advantage of spatial awareness to relate and appeal to consumers.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 4 Comments

Connecting Cultures: Medical Interpreter Ideology and Role Construction

Connecting Cultures: Medical Interpreter Ideology and Role Construction

Lily Conquest

Doctor-patient interactions mediated by interpreters have been studied rather extensively, with the interpreter’s role typically characterized as either neutral, or more often, allies of the healthcare system: “co-diagnosticians” or “institutional gatekeepers,” as coined by Brad Davidson. Less research has been conducted on interpreters’ own perception of their roles, or the ways in which this role is constructed within the interpreter community. This paper examines material produced by a medical interpreting organization, focusing on discussions of the interpreters’ role and responsibilities. This analysis builds on the works of Davidson and Hsieh, and draws data from YouTube content posted by Connecting Cultures Healthcare Interpreters. These materials include interviews and short one-on-one discussions about common problems in the field, particularly regarding the scope of interpreter responsibility.  Medical interpreters perceive themselves as independent of the patient and physician, but still situated within the healthcare institution. Even as employees of healthcare, medical interpreters highly value neutrality and aspire to be completely impartial. However, this is complicated by the institutional guidelines they must follow, such as the medical interpreting Code of Ethics, and their career interests, as they are generally employed by the healthcare provider. 

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

Lavender Linguistics and the Discourse in Online Sapphic Communities

Lavender Linguistics and the Discourse in Online Sapphic Communities

Noelle Belanger

Lavender Linguistics defines the linguistics used to study the cultural aspects of the LGBTQ+ community, including the use of language, slang, jargon, and discourse. There are many different cultural aspects of the LGBTQ+ community due to the wide range of identities and the many experiences that make up its many different members, and the use of linguistics can help us better understand how people in the LGBTQ+ community can relate to each other, as well as how they survive and live within societies that are cisgender and heteronormative. Each identity represented in the LGBTQ+ community has its own set of sub-cultures and discourse; this study focuses on the linguistics surrounding the Sapphic members of the community, especially in online spaces. “Sapphic” is a word that derives from the name of the ancient Greek poet Sappho: a woman who lived on the island of Lesbos from 630-570 BCE, known for writing love poetry about other women, and over the course of time, her namesake, Sapphic, along with the name of her home, Lesbos, have been associated with women who are attracted to other women, which includes: lesbian women, bisexual women, pansexual women, and gay/queer women. In online spaces, we can see how linguistics in the Sapphic community has been used to analyze political and social discourse, as well as the discussion of identities and experiences specific to that of the different sexualities that fall under the Sapphic label. Analyzing these examples of Sapphic linguistics in online spaces can help us understand the linguistics that play out in the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, and how it operates within heteronormative society.

April 12, 2021 Posted by | abstract | Leave a comment

Discrimination on the Basis of Language Usage and Communication Disorders

Discrimination on the Basis of Language Usage and Communication Disorders

Jessica Beatty

Lacking in skills pertaining to speech, language use, and comprehension creates a social barrier between those with communicative difficulties and those without such deficits. Autism Spectrum Disorder and Aphasia are two conditions which can heavily impact one’s ability to communicate effectively. This will be analyzed in regard to discrimination from others due to a lack of and/or difference in communicative forms. The prominence of discrimination in the lives of those with communication disorders is not the central focus of much previous research. Therefore, why discrimination among the autistic and aphasic communities is prevalent, and what truth may lie between connecting cognition and linguistic capabilities, are addressed. Through reviewing the available literature on research conducted, it is shown that promoting differences among individuals and implementing behavioral therapy plans aid in the reduction of linguistic discrimination. Furthermore, through reading this research, the reader does their part to lessen ignorance in the world.

April 17, 2020 Posted by | abstract | 1 Comment

Language and Societies abstracts, vol. 12 (2020)

The abstracts below are summaries of papers by early-career scholars from the 2020 edition of my course, Language and Societies. The authors are undergraduate and graduate students in anthropology and linguistics at Wayne State University. Comments and questions are extremely welcome, especially at this critical juncture, when the authors are making final revisions to their papers.

Ahmed Alaboosi: Modern Standard Arabic and The Iraqi Arabic Dialect: Prestige and Differences In Lexicon

Juliette André: Dishing it out on gentrification: Tracking narratives of urban redevelopment through Detroit restaurant reviews

Jessica Beatty: Discrimination on the Basis of Language Usage and Communication Disorders

Kate Blatchford: The City Beautiful Movement and Discourse on Urban Space

Agata Borowiecki: Late 20th Century Immigrants in South-Eastern Michigan on Identity, Bilingualism, and Benefit

Jeff Dempsey: The Hebrew Verb System: Changes in Time

Amanda Ford: “Death the great tyrant”: Epitaphs, social inequality, and resistance to acculturation in death

Georgina Gill: Inupiat Language Survival through the Video Game Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)

Bethany Hedden: An EcoJustice Approach to Narratives of Emotions and Bodies: Do police call reports produce centric thinking and a discourse of rationalism?

Todd Hovey: “Shooting, Riding, and Speaking Manchu”: Manchu Language and Identity in Qing Institutions

Hannon Hylkema: Analyzing archaeological discourse: Narratives and arguments of interpreting Inca material culture

Nicole Markovic: Navigating Pronoun Use for Transgender and Gender Non-Binary Students in the Foreign Language Classroom

Joshua Medina: Ad Discourse, Mexico vs. United States: The Cultural Universalization of Coca-Cola

William D. Pizzimenti: Mail-order Muscles: A Comparative Analysis of Early 20th Century Mail-Order Fitness Advertisements, Courses, and Literature

Corrinne Sanger: PrEP, Risk, and the Potential for HIV: The power of public health discourse in a post-AIDS world

Erin Stanley: Cultivating deeper changes through uncovering root metaphors and modernist discourses in the AASWSW Grand Challenges for Social Work 

Laura Sutherland: Art engagement and agency on the websites of dementia care facilities in Michigan

Mikayla Swasey: ALKFJD: The changing metalinguistic understandings of keysmash practices

Elizabeth Watson: Gender(ed) “Equality” in the Home: Online Verbalizations of Experiences Dividing Household Labor

Matthew Worpell: Whatever do you meme? An analysis of the transformation in meaning of signs and symbols on 4chan

Shannon Yee: Minority language orthography and literacy: A case study of Swo in Cameroon

 

 

April 16, 2020 Posted by | abstract | Leave a comment

Late 20th Century Immigrants in South-Eastern Michigan on Identity, Bilingualism, and Benefit

Late 20th Century Immigrants in South-Eastern Michigan on Identity, Bilingualism, and Benefit

Agata Borowiecki

Identity has been a theme in the modern world for decades, from colonialism, through the Civil Rights movement, LGBTQ+ rights movement, and the immigrant crises. For those who have moved to the United States in recent years, their identity has changed and shifted, which has been influenced by how they experience and live a bilingual lifestyle. This paper investigates why late 20th century Polish immigrants maintain their mother language and speak it in public and if they see bilingualism as an identity or a benefit in the United States? To answer this question, the paper focuses on the experiences of Polish immigrants in southeastern Michigan. The paper includes information from Polish news sources in America, as well as personal and phone interview data. Information on identity, bilingualism, and linguistic capital include academic journals as well as these interviews. In white-coded immigrant communities like that of the late 20th century Polish wave of immigrants, there is value from bilingualism in the United States including economic, social, cultural and possibly even personal and health benefits. Further research may look into other immigrant communities in southeastern Michigan (and beyond) such as the Arab and Latino communities.

April 16, 2020 Posted by | abstract | 3 Comments

Analyzing archaeological discourse: Narratives and arguments of interpreting Inca material culture

Analyzing archaeological discourse: Narratives and arguments of interpreting Inca material culture

Hannon Hylkema 

The published scholarship of archaeologists is lexically complex and constructs unique discourse that is ripe for investigation. This essay analyzes the discourse of peer-reviewed archaeological texts which interpret pottery and textile evidence associated with inhabitants of the Inca state. The texts are limited to those published in the English language allowing for a foundational emphasis on the theoretical context created by Western ideology. In what ways do these texts make use of discourse, embodying narratives and arguments, as a linguistic device for writing about their interpretations of Inca people and Inca material culture? Archaeological texts have the power to create and or reproduce particular narratives and arguments that effect understandings of people historically as well as contemporarily. This essay distinguishes narratives and arguments as the key components of discourse within the collected sample of texts and works to elucidate their usage through means of critical analysis. For each text, passages exhibiting qualities of narrative and/or argument are systematically deconstructed and put into conversation with others. This preliminary study suggests that the positionality of Western archaeologists influences the ways in which they construct discourse and that this impacts the conveyance of their scientific interpretations about Inca material culture. Further research is needed to explore the catalogue of archaeological texts about Inca material culture in English and other languages, including Spanish and Quechua.

April 16, 2020 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments

ALKFJD: The changing metalinguistic understandings of keysmash practices

ALKFJD: The changing metalinguistic understandings of keysmash practices

Mikayla Swasey

Nearly everyone currently speaks to others via the Internet in some way, shape, or form, although not every Internet user speaks the same way. These differences, like whether users include emoticons like “:)” or Internet slang like JK for “just kidding” are ways people can speak online, and are increasingly being studied by linguists. Another part of Internet language are keysmahses, the action of hitting random letters on the keyboard in ways like “alshfldhf”. While this action is not studied heavily by linguists yet, there are perceived rules around this phenomenon, along with online communities associated with the action. In this paper, I describe the metalinguistic beliefs around keysmashes, as well the changes surrounding them over time.

April 16, 2020 Posted by | abstract | 4 Comments

Ad Discourse, Mexico vs. United States: The Cultural Universalization of Coca-Cola

Ad Discourse, Mexico vs. United States: The Cultural Universalization of Coca-Cola

Joshua Medina

This paper is a comparative discourse analysis of Coca-Cola commercials in the United States versus Coca-Cola commercials in Mexico. This analysis demonstrates how Coca-Cola uses discourse to convey its message. The commercials collaboration of speech, social context and actions was the main focus of this analysis. Sherzer’s work on discourse explains the power in “artistic” discourse and its bearing on cultural change. Through its discourse, Coca-Cola maximizes the power of grammar and semantics to mobilize social action. This analysis sets out to investigate the discourse of Coca-Cola commercials in Mexico, compared to the United States. What are the underlying themes of the commercials in each country and what social action might they be trying to incite? Secondly, what do the similarities and differences in discourse between the two countries tell us? To answer these questions, a discourse analysis of 20 Coca-Cola commercials, 10 from the United States and 10 from Mexico, was conducted. The results yielded both similarities and differences in advertising, for the two countries. In Mexico, Coca-Cola and dining came up as a theme. Five of the 10 Mexican commercials involved eating meals, compared to none for commercials in the United States. The commercials in the United States focused more on events, such as sports. In Mexico, Coca-Cola commercials naturalize Coke as part of the alimentation process. What was similar in both countries was a message of Coca-Cola as a human universality. Human universality is displayed using themes of social diversity and social inclusiveness, both centered around the commonality of Coca-Cola. The discourse centered around human universality in both countries may be crucial for Coca-Cola’s globalizing agenda. It might be worthwhile for future research to focus on the global health effects of the culturally universalizing discourse surrounding Coca-Cola products.

April 16, 2020 Posted by | abstract | 2 Comments