1st Edition

Linguistic Variation and Social Practices of Normative Masculinity Authority and Multifunctional Humour in a Dublin Sports Club

By Fergus O'Dwyer Copyright 2020
    260 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    258 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book explores the ways in which linguistic variation and complex social practices interact toward the formation of male interactional identities in a sports club in Dublin, illustrating the affordances of studying sporting contexts in contributing to advancing sociolinguistic theory.

    Adopting a participant-informed ethnographic approach, the book examines both the social interactional contexts within the club and the sociopragmatic and sociophonetic features which contribute to the different performances of masculinity in and outside the club. The volume focuses particularly on the linguistic analysis of humor and its multifunctional uses as a means of establishing solidarity and social ties but also aggression, competitiveness, and status within the social world of this club as well as similar such clubs across Ireland. The book’s unique approach is intended to complement and build on existing sociolinguistic studies looking at linguistic variation in groups by supporting quantitative data with ethnographically informed insights to look at social meaning in interaction from micro-, meso-, and macro-levels.

    This book will be of particular interesting to graduate students and scholars in sociolinguistics, language, gender, and sexuality, and language and identity.

    Chapter 1 Introduction: social meaning and language in Club Fingal

    1.1. Identity and language

    1.1.1. Overview of identity and language in Dublin

    1.2. Broad overview of Dublin 15 and Gaelic games

    1.2.1. Dublin 15

    1.2.2. Gaelic games

    1.3. Overview of research aims, methods and results

    1.4. Organization of the book

    Chapter 2 The ethnographic study of normative masculinity in a sports club

    2.1. Gender, masculinity and sports in sociolinguistic research

    2.1.1. Identity and sociolinguistics

    2.1.2. Gender and masculinity

    2.2. Ethnographic data collection decisions

    2.2.1. Analytical framework Quantitative Analysis Qualitative Analysis

    2.3. Ethnographic profile of Club Fingal

    2.3.1. Club Fingal in context

    2.3.2. The social aspects of involvement in Club Fingal

    2.4. Communication in Club Fingal

    2.4.1. Perceptions of Language in Club Fingal

    2.4.2. Overview of salient interactional identities and types of talk

    2.4.3. Sociolinguistic profile of the types of talk

    2.4.4. Observations of humour Direct, straight talk Witticisms Threads of humour

    2.5. Preliminary summary of the social space and language of Club Fingal

    Chapter 3 Sociophonetic analysis of PRICE

    3.1. Analysis of PRICE

    3.1.1. Analysis of significant predictors

    3.1.2. Intraspeaker variation and type of talk

    3.1.3. Overall variation of PRICE tokens and type of talk

    3.1.4. Salient patterns that emerged from statistical analysis of PRICE tokens

    3.2. The discourse functions of lower and retracted PRICE offsets

    3.2.1. Inferring a position of knowledge or authority

    3.2.2. Quoting other authoritative positions

    3.2.3. Asserting authority in a conversation

    3.2.4. Other phonetic considerations

    3.2.5. Following consonant

    3.2.6. Sociolinguistics interpretations of salient patterns

    3.3. Summary: PRICE and epistemic status

    Chapter 4 Sociophonetic analysis of word-final /t/

    4.1. Analysis of word-final /t/

    4.1.1. Statistical Analysis

    4.1.2. Salient patterns of variation in word-final /t/

    4.1.3. Individual slit-t variation

    4.2. The discourse functions of the word-final slit-t variant

    4.2.1. Slit-t indicates speaker will adopt a sociopragmatic position

    4.2.2. Slit-t introduces a point of sociopragmatic weight

    4.2.3. Slit-t 'does' sociopragmatic work, with a pause

    4.2.4 To emphasize a point

    4.3 Pragmatic Markers and sociophonetic variation

    4.3.1. Other considerations regarding variation in word-final /t/

    4.4. Summary: frication and emphasizing their contribution of the speaker

    Chapter 5 Humour in Club Fingal

    5.1. Collegial humour and solidarity in Club Fingal

    5.1.1. Ice bucket challenge

    5.1.2. "Ye turned up!"

    5.1.3. "I'll take the two of youse on in a snowball fight!"

    5.1.4. Solidarity-building and boundary-maintaining humour

    5.2. 'Edgy' humour in Club Fingal

    5.2.1. "I think you really are fucken mad Fergus"

    5.2.2 "I am a manager now"

    5.2.3. "I could have hit that over the bar with one hand!"

    5.2.4. "I know more about football than you!"

    5.2.5. "Go bake a fucken cake"

    5.2.6. It was definitely a fucken handball!

    5.3. Multifunctionality of humour in Club Fingal

    5.4. Summary of humour in Club Fingal

    Chapter 6 Conclusion: Linguistic Variation and Social Practices of Normative Masculinity

    6.1. Results of the Club Fingal ethnography

    6.2. Implications and outlook

    6.2.1. Implications for the study of Dublin and Irish English

    6.2.2. Male identities and the sociolinguistics of sport

    6.2.3. Social meaning and indexicality A critique of ethnographically informed, qualitatively-skewed mixed methods

    6.2.4. Reflexivity in ethnography


    Fergus O’Dwyer is a lecturer at the Marino Institute of Education (an associated college of Trinity College Dublin), with previous posts in Germany, Ireland, and Japan.

    "[This book] is a compelling analysis that I expect will hold a great deal of interest both to those whose focus is the connection between sociophonetics and pragmatics and to those whose interest lies in gender, masculinities, and normativity.” - Holly Cashman, University of New Hampshire, USA, Journal of Sociolinguistics