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Text World Theory and stories of self: a cognitive discursive approach to identity

van der Bom, Isabelle (2015) Text World Theory and stories of self: a cognitive discursive approach to identity. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

Isabelle van der Bom - Text World Theory and stories of self - THESIS.pdf
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This thesis offers a text-worlds-approach to the study of linguistic identity in discursive interaction. It focuses on how settled Chinese migrants in Sheffield, who migrated predominantly from Hong Kong and the New Territories, construct their identities linguistically. To this extent, linguistic interview data is analysed with the use of the conceptual framework Text World Theory (e.g. Gavins 2007a; Werth 1999). As such, this thesis has three central aims: to extend the use of Text World Theory by applying it to spoken discourse; to examine the ways in which people linguistically represent themselves and talk about their life experiences; and to provide insight into the narratives of Chinese migrants and their families in Sheffield in particular. The linguistic data used in this thesis has been collected through 18 months of ethnographic fieldwork at a Chinese complementary school in Sheffield, UK. Based on the outcome of the analytical investigations of linguistic interview data, I aim to offer several original contributions. Firstly, I hope to provide a better understanding of migrant lives, by investigating the narrated experiences of Chinese migrants and their families. Secondly, I offer Text World Theory as a suitable framework for the study of linguistic identity. I extend the framework to the relatively unexplored domain of spoken discourse, synthesising a discursive approach to identity (e.g. Bucholtz and Hall 2005) with a Text World Theory approach (e.g. Gavins 2007a; Werth 1999). I demonstrate that Text World Theory can explain the complex and multi-layered nature of identity through the scope it provides for tracing linguistic self-representation across multiple worlds. Finally, I show that the framework is particularly adept at synthesising macro-level analysis of discursive interaction with detailed micro-level analysis of linguistic choices and their conceptual consequences.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Text World Theory, linguistic identity, cognition, discourse analysis, Chinese community, Chinese migrants, British-born Chinese, British-Chinese, life-narratives
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of English (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.668287
Depositing User: Miss Isabelle van der Bom
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2015 09:37
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 12:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10110

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