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From gay language to normative discourse: a diachronic corpus analysis of Lavender Linguistics conference abstracts 1994–2012

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Language and Sexuality
Issue number2
Volume2
Number of pages26
Pages (from-to)179-205
<mark>State</mark>Published
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

A corpus of abstracts from the Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference
was subjected to a diachronic keywords analysis in order to identify concepts
which had either stayed in constant focus or became more or less popular over
time.1 Patterns of change in the abstracts corpus were compared against the
Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) in order to identify the
extent that linguistic practices around language and sexuality were reflected in
wider society. The analysis found that conference presenters had gradually begun
to frame their analyses around queer theory and were using fewer sexual identity
labels which were separating, collectivising and hierarchical in favour of more
equalising and differentiating terminology. A number of differences between
conference-goers’ language use and the language of general American English
were identified and the paper ends with a critical discussion of the method used
and the potential consequences of some of the findings.