1887
Language, discourse and identities
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238

Abstract

Sociolinguistic studies of ‘minority languages’ and bilingualism have increasingly moved away from a singular emphasis on issues of ethnicity that poses direct links between the use of a language and an ethnic or cultural identity towards exploring the construction of identities that are not firmly located in category-bound descriptions. In this paper, we draw on these latest insights to account for processes of identity construction in a bilingual (in Greek Cypriot and English) youth organization group based in North London. Our main data consist of the audio-recorded interactional data from a socialization outing after one of the group’s meeting but we also bring in insights from the group’s ethnographic study and a larger study of the North London Cypriot community that involved interviews and questionnaires. In the close analysis of our main data, we note a conventional association between the ‘London Greek Cypriot’ (henceforth LGC) variety that is switched to from English as the main interactional frame and a set of genres (in the sense of recurrent evolving responses to social practices) that are produced and taken up as humorous discourse: These include narrative jokes, ritual insults, hypothetical scenarios, and metalinguistic instances of mock Cypriot. We will suggest that the use of LGC demonstrates a relationship of ambivalence, a “partly ours partly theirs” status, with the participants carving out a different, third space for themselves that transcends macro-social categories (e.g. the Cypriots, the Greek-Cypriot community). At the same time, we will show how the discursive process of choosing language from a bi- or multi- lingual repertoire does not only create identities in the sense of socially and culturally derived positions but also identities (sic (dis)-identifications) in the sense of desiring and fantasizing personas.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/prag.19.3.10geo
2009-01-01
2019-10-18
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Androutsopoulos, J. , and A. Georgakopoulou
    (2003) (eds.)Discourse constructions of youth identities. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. doi: 10.1075/pbns.110
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/pbns.110 [Google Scholar]
  2. Antaki, C. , and S. Widdicombe
    (1998) (eds.)Identities in talk. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Anthias, F
    (1992) Ethnicity, class, gender and migration: Greek-Cypriots in Britain. (Research in Ethnic Relations S.). Avebury.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Auer, P
    (1998) (ed.)Code-switching in conversation. Language, interaction and identity. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bauman R
    (1986) Story, performance and event: Contextual studies of oral narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511620935
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511620935 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bauman, R
    (2001) The ethnography of genre in a Mexican market: Form, function, variation. In P. Eckert , and J. Rickford (ed.), Style and sociolinguistic variation. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 57-77.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. (2004) A world of others’ words. Cross-cultural perspectives on intertextuality. Oxford: Blackwell. doi: 10.1002/9780470773895
    https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470773895 [Google Scholar]
  8. Baynham, M
    (2003) Narratives in time and space: Life-stories of migration and settlement. Narrative Inquiry13: 347-366. doi: 10.1075/ni.13.2.07bay
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.13.2.07bay [Google Scholar]
  9. Bhabha, H
    (1994) The location of culture. New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Billig, M
    (1997) The dialogic unconscious: Psychoanalysis, discursive psychology and the nature of repression. British Journal of Social Psychology36: 139-159. doi: 10.1111/j.2044‑8309.1997.tb01124.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2044-8309.1997.tb01124.x [Google Scholar]
  11. (1999) Freudian repression: Conversation creating the unconscious. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. (2001) Embarrassment and humour: Limits of 'nice guy' theories of social life. Theory, Culture and Society18: 23-43. doi: 10.1177/02632760122051959
    https://doi.org/10.1177/02632760122051959 [Google Scholar]
  13. Blommaert, J. , J. Collins , and S. Slembrouck
    (2005) Spaces of multilingualism. InLanguage and Communication25: 197-216. doi: 10.1016/j.langcom.2005.03.006
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.langcom.2005.03.006 [Google Scholar]
  14. Bourdieu, P
    (1997) Language and symbolic power. Oxford: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Bucholtz, M
    (2003) Sociolinguistic nostalgia and the authentication of identity. Journal of Sociolinguistics7.3: 398-416. doi: 10.1111/1467‑9481.00232
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9481.00232 [Google Scholar]
  16. Cameron, D. , and D. Kulick
    (2003) Language and Sexuality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511791178
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511791178 [Google Scholar]
  17. Charalambous, J. , G. Hajifannis , and L. Kilonis
    (1988) The Cypriot community of the UK. Issues of Identity. Conference proceedings, organised by the National Federation of Cypriots in Great Britain, June 1988: PNL Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Chiaro, D
    (1992) The Language of jokes: Analysing verbal Play. London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203327562
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203327562 [Google Scholar]
  19. Christodoulou-Pipis, I
    (1991) Greek Outside Greece III. Research Findings: Language use by Greek- Cypriots in Britain. Nicosia: Diaspora Books, Greek Language Research Group.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Chun, E.W
    (2004) Ideologies of legitimate mockery: Margaret Cho’s revoicings of Mock Asian. Pragmatics14: 263-289.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Eckert, P
    (2002) Demystifying sexuality and desire. In Robert G. Campbell-Kibler , & A. Wong (eds.), Language and sexuality: Contesting meaning in theory and practice. CSLI Publications, pp. 99-110.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Finnis, K
    (2009) Language use and socio-pragmatic meaning: Code-switching amongst British-born Greek-Cypriots in London. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. Birkbeck College, University of London.
  23. Gardner-Chloros, P. , L. McEntee-Atalianis , and K. Finnis
    (2005) Language attitudes and use in a transplanted setting: Greek Cypriots in London. InInternational Journal of Multilingualism 2: 52-80. doi: 10.1080/17501220508668376
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17501220508668376 [Google Scholar]
  24. Georgakopoulou, A
    (2003) Plotting the "right place" and the "right time": Place and time as interactional resources in narratives. Narrative Inquiry13: 413-432. doi: 10.1075/ni.13.2.10geo
    https://doi.org/10.1075/ni.13.2.10geo [Google Scholar]
  25. (2004) Reflections on language-centered perspectives on Modern Greek society and culture. Kampos. Cambridge Papers in Modern Greek12: 45-68.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. (2005) Styling men and masculinities: Interactional and identity aspects at work. Language in Society34: 163-184. doi: 10.1017/S0047404505050074
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404505050074 [Google Scholar]
  27. Gutierrez, K. , P. Baquedano-Lopez , and C. Tejada
    (1999) Rethinking diversity: Hybridity and hybrid language practices in the Third Space. Mind, Culture and Activity74: 286-303.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Gumperz, J
    (1982) Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511611834
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511611834 [Google Scholar]
  29. Gumperz, J. , and J. Gumperz-Cook
    (2005) Making space for bilingual communicative practice. Intercultural Pragmatics2: 1-23. doi: 10.1515/iprg.2005.2.1.1
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/iprg.2005.2.1.1 [Google Scholar]
  30. Hatzidaki, A.G
    (1994) Ethnic language use among second-generation Greek immigrants in Brussels. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels.
  31. Hanks, W.F
    (1996) Language and communicative practices. Colorado/Oxford: Westview Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Hill, J
    (1999) Styling locally, styling globally: What does it mean? Styling the other . Thematic Issue of the Journal of Sociolinguistics3: 542-556. doi: 10.1111/1467‑9481.00095
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9481.00095 [Google Scholar]
  33. Irvine, J.T
    (2001) “Style” as distinctiveness: The culture and ideology if linguistic differentiation. In P. Eckert , & J. Rickford (eds.), Style and sociolinguistic variation. Cambridge & New York: Cambridge University Press, pp. 21-43.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Jefferson, G
    (1978) Sequential aspects of storytelling in conversation. In J. Schenkein (ed.), Studies in the organisation of conversational interaction. New York: Academic Press, pp. 219-249. doi: 10.1016/B978‑0‑12‑623550‑0.50016‑1
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-623550-0.50016-1 [Google Scholar]
  35. Johnstone, B
    (1999) Use of Southern-sounding speech by contemporary Texas women. Styling the other . Thematic Issue of the Journal of Sociolinguistics3: 505-522. doi: 10.1111/1467‑9481.00093
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9481.00093 [Google Scholar]
  36. Josephides, S
    (1987) Associations amongst the Greek Cypriot population in Britain. In J. Rex , D. Joly , and C. Wilpert (1987), Immigrant Associations in Europe. Aldershot: Gower.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Labov, W
    (1966) The social stratification of English in New York City. Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Lo, A. , and A. Reyes
    (2004) Relationality: Discursive constructions of Asian Pacific American identities. Special Issue. Pragmatics14: 2-3.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Massey, D
    (2005) For space. London: Sage.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Oakley, R
    (1979) Family kinship and patronage: The Cypriot migration to Britain. In V.S. Khan (ed), Minority Families in Britain. Macmillan: London.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Pavlou, P
    (1992) The use of the Cypriot-Greek dialect in the commercials of the Cyprus broadcasting cooperation. Paper presented at the 37th Conference of the International Linguistics Association, Washington DC.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Papapavlou, A. , P. Pavlou , and S. Pavlides
    (1999) The interplay between language use, language attitudes and cultural identity among Greek Cypriots living in the UK. Paper presented at the4th international Conference on Greek Linguistics, Nicosia, September 1999.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Rampton, B
    (1995) Crossing: Language and ethnicity among adolescents. London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. (2002) Ritual and foreign language practices at school. Language in Society31.4: 491-525. doi: 10.1017/S0047404502314015
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047404502314015 [Google Scholar]
  45. (2006) Language and late modernity: Interaction in an urban school. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511486722
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511486722 [Google Scholar]
  46. Sacks, H
    (1974) An analysis of a course of a joke’s telling in conversation. In R. Bauman & J. Sherzer (eds.), Explorations in the ethnography of speaking. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 337-353.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Scollon, R. , and S.W. Scollon
    (2004) Nexus Analysis: Discourse and the Emerging Internet. London/New York: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Taylor, S. , and K. Littleton
    (2006) Biographies in talk: A narrative-discursive research approach. Qualitative Sociology Review11: 22-38.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Trudgill, P
    (1974) The Social Differentiation of English in Norwich. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Tsitsipis, L
    (2004) A sociolinguistic application of Bakhtin’s authoritative and internally persuasive discourse. Journal of Sociolinguistics8: 569-594. doi: 10.1111/j.1467‑9841.2004.00274.x
    https://doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9841.2004.00274.x [Google Scholar]
  51. Weatherall, A
    (2002) Gender, Language ad Discourse. East Sussex: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Wei, L
    (1992) A sequential analysis of Chinese-English conversational code-switching. InCode- switching Summer school, Pavia Italy) 9-12 September 1992, Strasbourg: European Science Foundation, pp. 33-50.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/prag.19.3.10geo
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Code-switching , Genre , Identities , London Greek-Cypriot (LGC) , Site and Subjectivity
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error