Keywords: Sociolinguistics; Linguistic Anthropology; Cultural Studies; Language and Identity; Ethnicity; Race; Nationality; Language Ideologies; Indexicality; Style; Stance; Language/Dialect Contact; Variation; Embodiment; Ethnography; Fieldwork; Sociology of Language; Sociophonetics; Diminutive Morphology; English varieties; Greek varieties; Spanish varieties.
Embodiment of Istanbul Greek
In February 2021, I started a position as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bern. Continuing my research on the Istanbul Greek dialect (described a bit below), I am focusing on ways members of the Istanbul Greek community use their linguistic resources (whether Greek or another language) to embody cosmopolitanism among other aspects related to their specific conceptualization of an Istanbul Greek identity.
Greek in Turkey
I began my doctoral program at the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. In 2016, I received the Stanley Prostrednik Memorial grant from the National Rooms to do fieldwork in Turkey. I spent 11 weeks conducting ethnographic research on the endangered Greek dialect of Istanbul (of which I am a heritage speaker), and have been analyzing data from that amazing opportunity ever since. I later returned to Istanbul under the auspices of the Mellon Fellowship and spent another 8 weeks conducting ethnographic research and sociolinguistic interviews. The Istanbul Greek community is very special to me, and I hope to bring awareness to their complex situation.
I also had served as a program coordinator in Pitt in Greece in 2017, which was a really great experience. It allowed me to repeat my work from the previous summer, but with the Istanbul Greeks that have relocated in Athens in order to see how much of their language has changed. As a result, I have been looking at different types of social motivations for language change among members of the Istanbul Greek community.
As part of my MA in 2013, I conducted an investigation using online surveys related to perceptions of diminutive usage in Madrid. Although the majority of the Spanish-speaking world uses diminutives rather frequently, they tend to be restricted to women's and child-directed speech. I found that not only do Madrid Spanish speakers associate diminutives with women and children, but they also view men who use diminutives "excessively" to be effeminate or queer. Furthermore, diminutive usage is not just indirectly indexical of women's language, but rather shows how ideologies around sexuality form in part based on circulated discourses on gender and age (such as maturity, physical development, intellect, and so on). In 2020, I coauthored a paper on this topic with Dr. Matt Kanwit which was published in the Journal of Language & Sexuality. We have plans for more work down the line!