Linguistics (2021 cohort)
I am a DPhil Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics candidate at the University of Oxford (Pembroke College). My sociolinguistic doctoral research investigates the use of feminine gender-marked forms in English to index (i.e., point to) cisgender gay male identities. To explore this phenomenon, my research examines contemporary gay men’s uses of resources such as feminine pronouns, feminine-gendered pejoratives, emojis and reaction gifs/images that depict women or are female-coded, etc., in naturally occurring speech and/or in instances of computer-mediated communication. My (primarily qualitative) research utilises a wide range of methodological and theoretical approaches, with the aim of answering the following questions: What specific kind(s) of ‘femininity’ is/are indexed through these resources? Why are these indexicalisations of femininity sometimes viewed by members of the wider ‘LGBTQIA+ community’ as offensive or problematic? Have the linguistic/communicative tools that gay men call upon to index femininity evolved over time in terms of their forms and/or functions?