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ERIC Number: ED521141
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 369
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-4702-4
What Did They Say in the Hall of the Dead? Language and Identity in the Cerro Maravilla Hearings
Negron Rivera, German
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Identity has become a major interest for researchers in the areas of linguistic anthropology and sociolinguistics. Recent understandings of identity emphasize its malleability and fluidity. This conceptualization of identities as malleable comes from the realization that speakers relate strategically to propositions and their interlocutors in order to achieve their communicative goals. This study is an exploration of the (co-)construction of identities in an institutional context, specifically in the Cerro Maravilla hearings. I examine the interactions between the Senate's main investigator, Hector Rivera Cruz, and five witnesses in order to explore how identities were created and how speakers managed the interactions. In chapter 2, I discuss the theoretical framework and the literature. The concepts of identity, linguistic ideologies, power, discourses, indexicalities, and stances are discussed. Chapter 3 is a literature review of studies concerned with language in the legal context, particularly in trials. In chapter 4, I provide a historical background to contextualize the Cerro Maravilla events and the Senate hearings. The next chapter is the methodology. In Chapter 6, I present the analyses of the interactions between Rivera Cruz and five witnesses. In chapter 7, I discuss the findings. Chapter 8 is the conclusion. The present study supports the notion that power is better understood as emergent in interactions, even when interactional resources are unequally available to speakers. However, it is not independent of discourses that assign value to ways of speaking and ways of interacting. I claim that speakers combine stances in creative and unexpected ways, constructing memorable identities. The overarching question that motivated this study was: Why did people talk about Rivera Cruz's performance and way of speaking? I argue that the answer lies in his creative stance taking through which he was able to provoke a clash of linguistic ideologies in an unexpected and unconventional way. I argue that Rivera Cruz's performance attests to the creativity and the immense possibilities that individuals have for creating identities, while this individuality is still connected with discourses that exist in the broad society. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A