Stylistic Practice
Linguistics 256

We will not be viewing style as different ways of saying the same thing. Style creates social distinctiveness, constructs us as different kinds of people. This can entail saying different things as well as saying them in different ways.

Romney's style from the New York Times.

The goal of this seminar is to develop better ways of theorizing and analyzing style. We will be considering style in all modalities from clothing fashion to discourse markers, at all levels from the historical era to the use of a variable, and from whole to the individual stylistic move. Some of the readings will be from other fields that deal with style, to get us thinking in different ways. And as we read our way through other s thinking, we will continually reach out to the stylistic world around us, going back and forth between examining whole styles and the individual resources that constitute them.

For the purposes of this seminar, a style is defined as an aggregate of features that has come to be socially recognizeable. Stylistic practice is the activity in which speakers make meaning through the manipulation of stylistic elements. A register can be defined as a style that has come to be widely recognized in a reasonably consensual manner (through a process of enregisterment). In other words, the difference between a style and a register is a fluid one.

Most of the readings are available online through the Stanford Library. The few that are not can be downloaded from this page. If you'd like a good book on style, see Coupland, Nikolas. 2007. Style: Language variation and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

New Stuff

From Dasha: Slam poetry and Tom Hanks' parody of slam poetry
From Teresa: the NYMag article What Was the Hipster?"
It's an adaptation of the full issue that n+1 devoted to the topic. The full magazine issue is only available for purchase, but the annotated table of contents gives you some sense of the original content that NYMag sourced this from:
Also, the Zooey Deschanel bits: mock-valley girl 0:00, a bit more serious 2:27, help a brotha out 0:18, thug life tweet.
and here's Chazz
and Rusty Barrett's drag queen paper Barrett, Rusty. 1994. "She is not white woman": The appropriation of white women's language by African American drag queens. Cultural Performances: Proceedings of the third Berkeley women and language conference, ed. by Mary Bucholtz, A.C. Liang, Laurel A. Sutton and Caitlin Hines, 1-14. Berkeley: Berkeley Women and Language Group.
Janneke has found an article about Zooey D. that describes some of the phenomena we were talking about last week.

January 7


January 14

Class, status, formality, refinement
Labov, William. 1972. The isolation of contextual styles. Sociolinguistic Patterns, ed. by William Labov. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. 70-109.
Irvine, Judith. 1979. Formality and informality in communicative events. American Anthropologist, 81.773-90.
Jameson, Robert. 1987. Purity and power at the Victorian dinner party. The archaeology of contextual meanings, ed. by Ian Hodder. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 55-65.

A really interesting history of the lower middle class:
Mayer, Arno. 1975. The lower middle class as historical problem. Journal of Modern History, 47.409-36.
potentially to be consumed with:
Labov, William. 1972. Hypercorrection by the lower middle class as a factor in linguistic change. Sociolinguistic Patterns, ed. by William Labov, 122-42. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

On cultural capital:
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1986. Forms of capital. Handbook of theory and research for the sociology of education, ed. by J.G. Richardson, 241-58. New York: Greenwood Press.

If you enjoy novels, I recommend:
Wharton, Edith. 1905. House of mirth. (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons) for its exposition of cultural capital and the rise of the industrial elite.

Fashion and late modernity:
Spencer, Neil. 1992. Menswear in the 1980s. Chic thrills: A fashion reader, 40-48. London: Harper Collins.
Wilson, Elizabeth. Fashion and the postmodern body. Chic thrills: A fashion reader, 3-16. London: Harper Collins.

January 21

Style and persona
Irvine, Judith. 2001. Style as distinctiveness: The culture and ideology of linguistic differentiation. Stylistic variation in language, ed. by Penelope Eckert and John Rickford, 21-43. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Podesva, Robert. 2007. Phonation type as a stylistic variable: The use of falsetto in constructing a persona. Journal of sociolinguistics, 11.478-504.
Zhang, Qing. 2005. A Chinese yuppie in Beijing: Phonological variation and the construction of a new professional identity. Language in society, 34.431-66.
Eckert, Penelope. 2011. Where does the social stop? Language variation: European perspectives III, ed. by Frans Gregersen, Jeffrey Parrott and Pia Qiust, 13-30. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

For the fun of it, here's one of a gazillion websites on style and persona

January 28

Indexicality and bricolage

Eckert, Penelope. 2008. Variation and the indexical field. Journal of sociolinguistics, 12.453-76.
Bucholtz, Mary. 1999. You da man: Narrating the racial other in the production of white masculinity. Journal of sociolinguistics, 3.443-60.
Wright, Lee. 1992. Outgrown clothes for grown-up people: Constructing a theory of fashion. Chic Thrills: A fashion reader, ed. by Juliet Ash and Elizabeth Wilson, 49-57. Hammersmith: Harper Collins.

Theoretical background:
Ochs, E. 1991. Indexing gender. Rethinking Context, ed. by A. Duranti and C. Goodwin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Silverstein, Michael. 2003. Indexical order and the dialectics of sociolinguistic life. Language and communication, 23.193-229.
Hebdige, Dick. 1984. Subculture: The meaning of style. New York: Methuen.

More on adornment:

Mendoza-Denton, Norma. 1996. Muy macha: Gender and ideology in gang girls' discourse about makeup. Ethnos, 61.47-63.
Eckert, Penelope. 1982. Clothing and geography in a suburban high school. Researching American culture, ed. by Conrad Phillip Kottak. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 139-44.
Calefato, Patrizia and Adams, Lisa. 2004. Chapter 10: Wearing black. Clothed body. Oxford: Berg.

February 4

Context writ large and small

Hodder, Ian. Chapter 6: Fittingness. Entangled: An archaeology of the relationships between humans and things. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 113-37.
Levinson, Stephen C. 2003. Contextualizing "contextualization cues". Language and interaction: Discussions with John J. Gumperz, ed. by Susan L. Eerdmans, Carlo L. Prevignano and Paul J. Thibault, 31-40. Amsterdam John Benjamins.
Gumperz, John J. 1992. Contextualization and understanding. Rethinking context, ed. by Alessandro Duranti and Charles Goodwin, 229-52. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bauman, Richard. 2001. The ethnography of genre in a Mexican market: Form, function, variation. Stylistic variation in language, ed. by Penelope Eckert and John Rickford, 57-77. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Some general background:
Goodwin, Charles and Duranti, Alessandro. 1992. Rethinking context: an introduction. Rethinking context, ed. by Alessandro Duranti and Charles Goodwin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1-42.
The classic piece on speech events:
Hymes, Dell. 1972. Models of the interaction of language and social life. The Ethnography of communication, ed. by John Gumperz and Dell Hymes, 35-71. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
Indexicals as creating context: Morford, Janet. 1997. Social indexicality in French pronominal address. Journal of linguistic anthropology, 7.3-37.

February 11

Interactive style (Guest lecture by Deborah Tannen)
Tannen, Deborah. 1989. Chapter 3: Repetition in conversation. Talking voices. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 36-97.
Podesva, Robert. 2007. Three sources of stylistic meaning. Texas linguistic forum, 51.
Coupland, Nikolas. 1983. Patterns of encounter management: Further arguments for discourse variables. Language in society, 12.459-76.

Framing and footing:
Goffman, Erving. 1981. Footing. Forms of talk, ed. by Erving Goffman, 124-57. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Tannen, Deborah and Wallatt, Cynthia. 1987. Interactive frames and knowledge schemas in interaction: Examples from a medical examination/interview. Social psychology quarterly, 50.205-16.

February 18

Designing the interlocutor
Bell, Alan. 1984. Language style as audience design. Language in Society, 13.145-204.
Coupland, Nikolas. 1985. 'Hark, hark, the lark': Social motivations for phonological style-shifting. Language and Communication, 5.153-71.
Rickford, John and Mcnair-Knox, Faye. 1994. Addressee- and topic- influenced style shift: A quantitative sociolinguistic study. Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Register, ed. by Douglas Biber and Edward Finegan. New York: Oxford University Press. 235-76.

February 25

Stancetaking in interaction
Moore, Emma and Podesva, Robert J. 2009. Style, indexicality and the social meaning of tag questions. Language in society, 38.447-85.
Kiesling, Scott. 2009. Style as stance: Can stance be the primary explanation for patterns of sociolinguistic variation? Sociolinguistic perspectives on stance, ed. by Alexandra Jaffe, 171-94. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mendoza-Denton, Norma. 2011. The semiotic hitchhiker's guide to creaky voice: Circulation and gendered hardcore in a Chicana/o gang persona. Journal of linguistic anthropology, 21.261-80.

March 4

Intertextuality and enregisterment
Zhang, Qing. 2008. Rhotacization and the 'Beijing Smooth Operator': The social meaning of a linguistic variable. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 12.201-22.
Agha, Asif. 2005. Registers of language. A companion to linguistic anthropology, ed. by Alessandro Duranti. Oxford: Blackwell.
Johnstone, Barbara, Andrus, Jennifer and Danielson, Andrew E. 2006. Mobility, indexicality, and the enregisterment of "Pittsburghese". Journal of English linguistics, 34.77-104.
Johnstone, Barbara. 2009. Pittsburghese shirts: Commodification and the enregisterment of an urban dialect. American speech, 84.157-75.

Bakhtin, Mikhail. 1981. Discourse in the novel. The dialogic imagination, ed. by M. Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Hill, Jane. 2005. Intertextuality as source and evidence for indirect indexical meanings. Journal of linguistic anthropology, 15.113-24.
Bucholtz, Mary. 2009. From stance to style. Stance: sociolinguistic perspectives, ed. by Alexandra Jaffe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Agha, Asif. 2003. The social life of a cultural value. Language and communication, 23.231-73.

March 11

Stylization and performance
Nuttall, Sarah. 2004. Stylizing the self: The Y generation in Rosebank, Johannesburg. Public culture, 16.430-52.
Schilling-Estes, Natalie. 1998. Investigating "self-conscious" speech: The performance register in Ocracoke English. Language in society, 27.53-83.
Chun, Elaine. 2004. Ideologies of legitimate mockery: Margaret Cho's revoicings of Mock Asian. Pragmatics, 14.263-89.
Decarlo, Doug and Santella, Anthony. 2002. Stylization and abstraction of photographs. SIGGRAPH.1-8.

Japanese youth styles: Japanese youth styles:
Miller, Laura. 2004. "Those naughty teenage girls: Japanese Kogals, slang, and media assessments". Journal of linguistic anthropology, 14.225-47.
Gagne, Isaac. 2008. Urban princesses: Performance and "women's language" in Japan's Gothic/Lolita subculture. Journal of linguistic anthropology, 18.130-50.