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I am how I sound: Voice as self-representation in L2 writing.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/02/2001
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Second Language Writing
Issue number1-2
Number of pages31
Pages (from-to)3-33
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


One of the characteristics of writing is that it does not carry the phonetic and prosodic qualities of speech. We will argue, however, that the lexical, syntactic, organizational, and even the material aspects of writing construct identity just as much as do the phonetic and prosodic aspects of speech, and thus writing always conveys a representation of the self of the writer. In this sense, “voice” is not an optional extra: All writing contains “voice” in the Bakhtinian sense of reaccentuating “voice types,” which locate their users culturally and historically. Writers may, through the linguistic and other resources they choose to draw upon in their writing, ventriloquate an environmentally aware voice, a progressive-educator voice, a sexist voice, a positivist voice, a self-assured voice, a deferential voice, a committed-to-plain-English voice, or a combination of an infinite number of such voices. We will illustrate this argument with examples from the writing of six graduate students studying in British universities. We will recommend that an L2 writing pedagogy that raises critical awareness about voice can help learners maintain control over the personal and cultural identity they are projecting in their writing.

Bibliographic note

RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Linguistics