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Storytelling is among the most common forms of discourse in human communication. The increasing influence of technology in our life is having a significant impact on the types of narrative that are told and on the way they are produced and received. In order to understand such impact we need to approach the discursive study of narrative from a perspective that privileges participant practices rather than texts. This is the approach taken in the present article, which analyzes a specific aspect of storytelling practice: audience participation within a blog open to comments. Using the notions of participation frameworks and frames as starting points, the analysis examines the frame focus of comments, the interactional dynamics established by participants among themselves, the tone of messages, and the media used in messages. Among the most important findings is a significant enhancement of reflexivity in comments as participants engage with the storytelling world much more than with the taleworld. (Narrative, story, storytelling, social media, participation frameworks, computer-mediated communication)*
This study explores the formulation of requests in an American English-speaking shoe repair shop. Taking prior work on request formats as our starting point, we explore the two primary syntactic moods (declarative and interrogative) in our collection and two of the commonly noted subtypes of these moods, need/want-declaratives and can-interrogatives. While our findings in very general terms match those of previous studies, we also find significant grammatical variation within each of these formats, and note interactional uses for each variation. Our examination yields insight into facets of requesting that were previously undescribed. We offer an Emergent Grammar perspective on the complexity of lexicosyntax in the social action of requesting. (Requests, formats, Emergent Grammar, Conversation Analysis, American English, service encounters)*
While the notion of hegemonic masculinity has received a lot of attention in recent scholarship, hegemonic femininity remains largely underdeveloped. We aim to address this gap by illustrating the benefits of using the concept of hegemonic femininities in sociolinguistic scholarship. Conducting a case study on the discourse of trailing spouses in Hong Kong, we analyse hegemonic femininities at the local, regional, and global level and explore how they are interlinked with each other. Findings show how these trailing spouses often challenge and reject hegemonic femininities on the local level, but largely accept and reinforce them on the regional and global level. The specific femininities that are considered to be hegemonic are highly context-dependent, and, unlike masculinities, the hegemony of femininities is a matter of internal degree—that is, certain femininities take hegemonic status compared to other femininities but do not take a dominant position in the gender order. (Hegemonic femininities, hegemonic masculinities, trailing spouses, Hong Kong, gender order)*
In this article we explore the relationship between authentication and identification in the spontaneous hip-hop talk of four young London men from multi-ethnic working-class backgrounds. Whereas sociolinguistic studies of authentication and/or hip hop have frequently focused on the linguistic style of hip hoppers, this article explores hip-hop talk with a specific interest in ‘cultural concepts’ (Silverstein 2004). This focus allows us to discuss how the young men authenticate themselves in relation to a range of other identity performances they discuss, including the ‘white posh girl's’ appropriation of ‘world star’ hip-hop culture or the local South London gang's display of violent gangsta personas. These cultural concepts not only index various aspects of hip-hop culture but also need to be understood in relation to various aspects of larger-scale discourses, practices, and structures. (Hip hop, authentication, indexicalities, cultural concepts)*
The adoption of English as the official language of the transnational Ismaili Muslim community has its roots in the British Raj, which provides the backdrop for recent Ismaili history. Yet it is the Aga Khan IV, spiritual leader of the community since 1957, who has most avidly pushed English as part of a ‘language policy’. Drawing on Ismaili discourse published online, historical sources, secondary literature, and data collected during ethnographic fieldwork in Northern Pakistan and Eastern Tajikistan, this article addresses how English emerged as the community's official language, how and why it was made integral to the community's transnational infrastructure, and what English means to Ismailis living in a village in Hunza, Northern Pakistan and the city of Khorog, Eastern Tajikistan. It thereby underscores that identity and infrastructure emerge as entangled, and it reflects upon the implications of this relationship for research on English and Islam, and language and transnationalism. (Transnationalism, English, Ismaili, Pakistan, Tajikistan, identity, infrastructure, Islam)*