Linguistic Ideologies in Fiction Podcasts

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2020
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Swarthmore College. Dept. of Linguistics
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en
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Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
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Abstract
This thesis is a linguistic analysis of fiction podcasts, focused on the research question: how do linguistic ideologies and stereotypes function in fiction podcasts? To this end, I used both quantitative and qualitative analysis. The quantitative analysis investigated whether there is a correlation between a character’s role in a show and the type of language variety they speak. The results of this analysis showed no strong relationship between these factors; all character types were made up of majority *SAE speakers, illustrating the effect of the Standard Language Ideology on the podcasts. Additionally, speakers of three regional varieties, Southern English, New York City English, and Upper Midwest English together made up the majority (87.1%) of all speakers of regional varieties; this result illustrates the salience of these three varieties in American society, and analysis of specific characters who speak these varieties showed the stereotypes closely associated with them. The qualitative analysis focused on specific elements of storytelling in which linguistic stereotypes and ideologies play a role. The results showed linguistic ideologies and stereotypes at work in four specific story elements: humor, character building, worldbuilding, and relationships between characters. Stereotypes about Southern English were present in three of these categories (humor, character building, and worldbuilding), supporting the quantitative finding asserting that variety’s salience. Overall, I conclude that continued research into fiction podcasts will benefit the field of linguistics and creators & consumers of fiction podcasts.
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