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The meaning of tough(ness) in sociolinguistics

March 6, 2023 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm

Professor Scott Kiesling (University of Pittsburgh) talks about how toughness can help shed more light on sociolinguistic variation.

Toughness has long been appealed to as a quality used to explain patterns of sociolinguistic variation, particularly in relation to gender (e.g., Trudgill 1974). This paper explores the role of this term and the qualities it describes in explanations for patterns of sociolinguistics:

  1. Why is toughness used in so many studies?
  2. How can toughness be described/defined/theorized more robustly and connected to the variation patterns through ideology, iconicity, or embodiment, or all three?
  3. What can the recurrent reliance on toughness as an explanatory concept tell us about social meaning in variation?

About the speaker

Scott Fabius Kiesling is a professor in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Kiesling received a PhD in linguistics in 1996 from Georgetown University, where he previously completed an M.S. in linguistics, and he has held previous academic positions at the University of Sydney and Ohio State University. He is the author of Language Variation and Change (Edinburgh University Press, 2011) and Language, Gender, and Sexuality: An Introduction (Routledge, 2019).

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March 6, 2023
5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Event Category:


The PGR Studio
+44 (0) 121 331 7623
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