Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality / Edition 1

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This pioneering collection of previously unpublished articles on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender language combines queer theory and feminist theory with the latest thinking on language and gender. The book expands the field well beyond the study of "gay slang" to consider gay dialects (such as Polari in England), early modern discourse on gay practices, and late twentieth-century descriptions of homosexuality. These essays examine the conversational patterns of queer speakers in a wide variety of settings, from women's friendship groups to university rap groups and electronic mail postings.

Taking a global—rather than regional—approach, the contributors herein study the language usage of sexually liminal communities in a variety of linguistic and cultural contexts, such as lesbian speakers of American Sign Language, Japanese gay male couples, Hindi-speaking hijras (eunuchs) in North India, Hausa-speaking 'yan daudu (feminine men) in Nigeria, and French and Yiddish gay groups. The most accessible and diverse collection of its kind, Queerly Phrased: Language, Gender, and Sexuality sets a new standard in the study of language's impact on the construction of sexuality.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This work is a wonderfully readable anthology of recent research in the relatively new field of queer linguistics....an excellent survey...a good introduction to the field for graduate students and professional anthropologists and linguists."—Anthropological Linguistics

"Breaks new ground....Recommended for academic collections and large comprehensive gay and lesbian public library collections."—Library Journal

"The editors are to be thanked for having assembled such a rich feast."—The Women's Review of Books

Library Journal
This compilation of research on the peculiar use of language in gay and lesbian communities breaks new ground. The first of three parts, "Liminal Lexicality," documents lexical usage and variation in deaf, Jewish, Japanese, and other communities. "Queerspeak" looks at "computer-mediated text" (E-mail), homophobic slang, media reports, and literary language to conclude whether characteristics specific to gay and lesbian speech must be found exclusively in speech to label them as "gay." Finishing the volume, "Linguistic Gender-bending" examines the fluid nature of gender and sexuality and how that may be seen in the conscious use of language as it applies to hermaphrodites, the castrated hijras of India, Nigerian transvestites, Yoruba priests, Parisian gays, and Japanese same-sex couples. Of interest to sociologists, linguists, and gay studies professionals, this is recommended for academic collections and large comprehensive gay and lesbian public library collections.Kevin M. Roddy, Univ. of Hawaii at Hilo Lib.
Reflecting a commitment to social diversity and queer theory, these 20 essays for linguists challenge tidy definitions of social groupings based on demographic categories. The contributors investigate such issues as the indexical value of language choices, the interconnectedness of dialect and register, and the critical link between language and power. No index. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195104714
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 11/28/1997
  • Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 480
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana

Yale University

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Table of Contents

Introduction: "It's a Girl": Bringing Performativity Back to Linguistics 3
1 Two Lavender Issues for Linguists 21
2 The Elusive Bisexual: Social Categorization and Lexico-Semantic Change 35
3 Lexical Variation in the Deaf Community Relating to Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Signs 58
4 The Color of His Eyes: Polari and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence 85
5 Pots and Pans: Identification of Queer Japanese in Terms of Discrimination 95
6 Talking about Feygelekh: A Queer Male Representation in Jewish American Speech 115
7 Les Molles et les chausses: Mapping the Isle of Hermaphrodites in Premodern France 127
8 Sappho, or the Importance of Culture in the Language of Love: Tribade, Lesbienne, Homosexuelle 147
9 Read my Lips: Clippyng and Kyssyng in the Early Sixteenth Century 167
10 The "Homo-genius" Speech Community 181
11 Toward the Study of Lesbian Speech 202
12 Queerying Friendship: Discourses of Resistance and the Construction of Gendered Subjectivity 214
13 "I Don't Speak Spritch": Locating Lesbian Language 233
14 Narrative Iconicity in Electronic-Mail Lesbian Coming-Out Stories 257
15 Deaf Identity, Lesbian Identity: Intersections in a Life Narrative 274
16 The Creation of Coherence in Coming-Out Stories 287
17 Performative Effect in Three Gay English Texts 310
18 Homophobic Slang as Coercive Discourse among College Students 326
19 "Falling Short of God's Ideal": Public Discourse about Lesbians and Gays 335
20 Disloyal to Masculinity: Linguistic Gender and Liminal Identity in French 349
21 Linguistic Gender Play among French Gays and Lesbians 369
22 Surrogate Phonology and Transsexual Faggotry: A Linguistic Analogy for Uncoupling Sexual Orientation from Gender Identity 380
23 The Gendering of the Gay Male Sex Class in Japan: A Case Study Based on Rasen No Sobyo 402
24 Not Talking Straight in Hausa 416
25 "Go Suck Your Husband's Sugarcane!": Hijras and the Use of Sexual Insult 430
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