Research

How do people use language and linguistic variation to do things?

I’m interested in social meaning and persona (a social-interactional presentation of self). My research explores how people construct personae using linguistic and extra-linguistic properties, what these personae mean in interaction, and how they build into larger sociopolitical and sociohistorical landscapes.

My research interests:

Sociolinguistics: social meaning; persona and style; language variation; language ideologies; expressive meaning; iconic meaning; discourse analysis

Socio-pragmatics: the pragmatics of persona; social meaning as grounds for interpretation; dogwhistles; political slogans; inference/interpretation manipulation; interpretation of missing or underspecified content; strategies for plausible deniability;

I received my M.A. in Linguistics from Queen Mary, University of London in 2016.  My M.A. dissertation looked at the use of creaky voice (or vocal fry) amongst a small cohort of middle and upper-middle class London millennials.  You can read about that here.

Before that, I received by B.A. in Linguistics from SOAS, University of London in 2014.  My B.A. dissertation explored possible social motivations for ideophone loss (highly expressive, sensory, “iconic” words) in two very different linguistic and social situations: Zulu and Quechua.  You can read about ideophones here and my B.A. dissertation here