Date Thesis Awarded

3-2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)

Department

Linguistics

Advisor

Iyabo Osiapem

Committee Member

Jack Martin

Committee Member

Leslie Cochrane

Committee Member

Kathleen Boyle

Abstract

To date, virtually all extant sociolinguistic literature concerning LGBT linguistics has been limited to the Anglophone world and, consequently, varieties of English. Given the author's extensive experience in Italy, the current study developed with the goal of ascertaining the perceptions of linguistic features found in gay Italian men's speech as well as the language attitudes of that community. A folk dialectological methodology was employed, with interviews being conducted in Milan, Italy with six self-identified gay Italian men. The results of a qualitative analysis of the interview data show that there are conflicting perceptions of what constitutes this social variety, but in general the following points were agreed upon: Gay Men's Italian exists as a distinct, recognizable language variety; feminization of lexical items is highly visible and common; speakers are considered effeminate with higher pitched voices; and common slang terms include historically pejorative words. Half of the participants were found to hold strongly negative attitudes toward GMI, while the other half tended to vacillate between positive, indifferent, and negative attitudes.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Available for download on Wednesday, April 10, 2019

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