LIFE STORY AND LINGUISTIC SUBJECTIVITY: SOCIOLINGUISTIC IMPLICATIONS

Abstract

Author(s): Meryem ?EN

Life narrative/story provides the narrator with a place where he/she reflects his/her subjective attitude either verbally or written (Bamberg 2006). Narrative is a central mechanism by which social knowledge is conveyed (Linde 2001). During the process of narration, the narrator constructs a kind of social and cultural discourse reflecting his/her subjectivity in which he/she, through his/her own perspective, overviews and evaluates events and people taking place in his/her past (Linde 1993).

Thus, within the context of life narrative is the aim of the current study to conduct a sociolinguistic reading of a person’s linguistic subjectivity, which reflects his/her attitude towards events and people in his/her past life. What we specifically concern with is the narrator’s linguistic choices, which construe his/her subjectivity reflecting his/her personal and social attitude that are meaningful in sociolinguistic context.

The audio recorded data used in the study belongs to Ofelya, who is a Romanian and started living in Turkey after getting married to a Turkish man. The data was analysed within the frame of Martin’s Appraisal Theory (2000) and the narrator’s linguistic subjectivity was qualitatively examined in respect of sociolinguistic dimensions (Holmes 1992) such as status, social coherence, group identity etc.

The results have confirmed that linguistic subjectivity contains social knowledge about one’s social positioning and, thus, life narrative reflecting one’s subjectivity constitues a crucial resource in sociolinguistic context.

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