Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
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.
Richardson, Anderson Davis, "Gay Men's Language in Italy: In-Group Perceptions and Attitudes" (2016). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 987.
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