Where are you from? I don’t know but did you ask the question in English? ¿o en Español?

Sarah Arjona, Yeeun Heo, Erika Yagi, Minyoung Yoon, Bryan Zhao

Have you ever imagined growing up next to the pyramids or the Eiffel tower? Some Third Culture Kids (TCKs) do so without being Egyptian or French, because they live abroad with their parents. Although extensive research has been done on code-switching, not a lot of this research has focused on code-switching in TCKs. This study explores the code-switching of Spanish English multilingual TCKs in formal and informal settings. To test our hypothesis that TCKs code-switch more often in informal settings among their peers, we conducted one-on-one interviews and a group activity with three tween and teen Spanish English multilingual TCKs over Zoom. We analyzed the frequency of their code-switching as well as the length of their code-switching. Our findings suggest that TCKs do code switch more often in the informal setting but it may not only be influenced by setting type but also by age and attitude.

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“Pussy!”: Gendered Insults While Video Gaming

Nisha Porchezhiyan

The present article is a research study about the use of gendered insults while playing Super Smash Bros and Mario Kart. This study consisted of three players, one female and two male playing both of the games and analyzing their conversations to see which gender used “pussy” as an insult more often and what types of triggers each gender had for the word. This paper argues that men use the word “pussy” as an insult more than women while playing video games, typically as either retaliation for when their character gets hit in the game or as a generic insult that is not caused by any action in the game. On the contrary, women typically use “pussy” as an insult only when another player calls them that insult. The results of the study support the thesis and the results align with the conclusions of previous researchers. The data collected implies that the high male frequency of “pussy” might reinforce gender stereotypes where women are seen as weaker than men, because they use female genitalia as an insult for being weaker.

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Reading is Fundamental: The Role of Ritual Insults in Ru Paul’s Drag Race

Olivia Heiner

Insults are sometimes regarded as negative or impolite; however, they can also be a playful ritual among various communities.  Consider, for example, the exaggerated “Yo Mama” jokes told between young school children.  Such insults are entertaining, performative, and unlikely to cause much harm.

This article explores the practice of mock ritual insults in the drag queen community, where such insults are referred to as “reads”.  In particular, this study looks at conversations from episodes of Ru Paul’s Drag Race—a reality television show where drag queens compete against each other—in order to analyze the content and linguistic aspects of reads.  Like other communities who practice ritual insults, queens display wit and humor in their reads.  Unlike insults in other male communities, however, reads use drag language and focus on content that is particularly relevant to the gendered performance of drag; this includes high pitched voice, feminine pronouns and addresses, as well as insults focused on fashion, makeup, and physical characteristics.  Despite the fact that reads usually involve insults against real traits in the addressee, surrounding queens and addressees usually respond to reads in a positive manner. This demonstrates how reading is a playful practice that not only entertains queens, but also helps them build a “thicker skin” against the real, non-playful criticism that they experience as a marginalized group.

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¡Échale ganas, mija!: How Latina Immigrant Mothers Use Word Choice to Assert Their Expectations

Catherine Guzman, Joan Kim, Kiara Mares, Yadira Marquez, Flor Ramirez

College enrollment and graduation rate from Latinos has increased during the last decade. Latinas[1] went from being 17% of graduates in 2000 to 30% in 2017. Latina mothers have played an important role in the success of Latinas by either providing motivation or pressuring them. Latina daughters may also face more pressure to understand the role that family dynamics and cultural roles play in their education and professional life, and it is our goal to show what factors influence the expectations of immigrant Latina mothers as well as how they communicate this to their children. We analyze word choice such as pauses and filler words, positive and negative word connotation, achievement remarks and associations, and levels of details to understand what factors influence what is expected of Latina daughters. Through the analysis of interviews of two Latina mothers with their older and younger daughters, we expect to find a positive correlation between the different levels of educational expectations based on birth order and expect the older daughter to have more responsibility and expectations of success.

Figure 1: Educated Latina Art Print from oayon1313

[1] Latina: a woman or girl of Latin American origin or descent

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What social patterns contribute to lack of maintenance of a heritage language within a multilingual family?

Hebbah Elokour, Rowan Towle, Jason Panelli, Frances Vano, Sana Shrikant

This study examines the various factors involved in the maintenance of heritage languages among multilingual immigrant families in the United States. Previous research shows that maintenance of heritage language is a complex and nuanced problem and that most families in the United States fail to pass on their home languages. We sought to compare all factors, and beyond any single particular immigrant family or case. We utilized a survey and several short interviews on which to do analysis. We found that all respondents had a positive outlook on heritage language maintenance and that in 100% of cases those who had advanced language skills had formal language exposure. Furthermore, we found that all respondents had some language skills and continually used them in socially significant ways.

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To: Perceived Female Recipient
Subject: Examining Nonbinary Identities in Email

Cc: Kyna Horten, Phoebe Morales, Lukas Weinbach

What if I told you that the way you write your emails is a dead giveaway of your gender identity? What if I told you there is a way to make this less obvious? If you want to learn more about Gendered Language, keep reading! What we know so far: Research parses variations in speech into ‘powerful’ language and ‘powerless’ language, or ‘men’s language’ and ‘women’s language. ‘What research has not considered yet: For centuries, men and women have had gender roles to perform which influence their speech behaviors; however, there is no social gender for people outside of the binary to perform, perhaps as a result of the idea that biological sex runs on a binary (which it doesn’t). In recent years, the options for social gender are changing from a binary to include those outside the traditional man/woman dynamic. Bathrooms, passports, and titles (mrs./ms., mr., mx.) are beginning to accommodate genders outside of the binary. Still, there are no set stereotypes, roles, or expectations for genderless people. We wanted to investigate how individuals identifying as agender perform language when writing emails.

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Testing the Matrix Language Frame (MLF) Hypothesis with Modern East Asian language-English Bilingual Speakers of Code Switching – Insertion & Alternation

Hyung Joon (Joe) Kim, Mocha Ito, Irene Han, Sena Ji, Luis Flores

Our study tests the validity of the Myers-Scotton’s (1993) Matrix Language Frame (MLF) hypothesis in light of modern Japanese-English and Korean-English bilingual speakers’ code-switching data (Myers-Scotton & Jake, 2009). Code-switching (CS) is the umbrella term for the use of more than one code, such as languages, dialects, sub-dialects, and accent, within or across conversations. Our focus is on two sub-elements of intra-sentential CS: alternation and insertion. We test the hypothesis by looking at whether the Morpheme Order Principle and the System Morpheme Principle hold true in our transcribed data of a total of 5 bilingual participants’ conversations in two separate groups. Our analysis reveals three new insights, which show that the two principles of the MLF hypothesis can be overriden under certain linguistic restrictions and in specific psycho-social context, as well as the fact that the frequency of alternation is positively correlated with the bilingual speaker’s proficiency in his or her first language.

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