Research Presentation by Dr. Irina Zaykovskaya: “When I come here, I kinda blend in the language, so that’s why I use like” - Sociolinguistic variation as an identity-building tool

  • Starts: 10:30 am on Monday, January 27, 2020
  • Ends: 12:00 pm on Monday, January 27, 2020

Abstract: “Remarkable LIKE” (rLIKE) is an umbrella term coined by D’Arcy (2017) to refer to various colloquial usages of LIKE (e.g., discourse marker). rLIKE is ubiquitous in native English speech; non-native speakers (NNSs) use it too, although non-native usage may be influenced by length of residence, proficiency, and investment into L2 identity. This talk presents a comprehensive analysis of ways in which rLIKE exists in non-native repertoire. A series of interviews and experiments revealed that most of the 26 participating NNSs were native-like in usage patterns, determining naturalness of rLIKE sentence placement, and even attitudes towards people who use rLIKE. However, rLIKE frequency varied significantly across speakers. NNSs’ overarching belief was that rLIKE signals “Americanness”, which aligns with the recently discovered trend (Sharma, 2016): NNSs perceive socially salient variables in their L2 (e.g., t-glottaling – British English) as signaling “nativeness” (e.g., “Britishness”). Indeed, speakers who possessed this belief were using rLIKe at an overall higher rate than their peers.

About Dr. Zaykovskaya: Irina Zaykovskaya recently received a Ph.D. in Second Language Studies from Michigan State University. Prior to her graduate studies, she taught English for Specific Purposes and Russian at Petersburg State University in Russia. Her current research interests include sociolinguistic aspects of second language acquisition, study abroad, language ideologies and second language identity, motivation and investment; she has taught courses in Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogical Grammar.

Rm 411, 2 Silber Way

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