Popular Culture in Transglossic Language Practices of Young Adults

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Journal Article
International Multilingual Research Journal, 2017, 11 (2), pp. 67 - 85
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© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Based on virtual conversations drawn from two separate intensive ethnographic studies in Bangladesh and Mongolia, we show that popular cultural texts play a significant role in young adults’ heteroglossic language practices. On the one hand, they borrow voices from cultural texts and cross the boundaries of language, i.e., codes, modes, and genres, and engage in translocalization and transculturation. On the other hand, they subtly manipulate various ideologies hidden underneath the voices, transtextualize the cultural texts, and maintain desired affiliation and distance from certain identity attributes. A transglossic analysis of data shows that heteroglossia needs to be understood not so much through linguistic or genre-specific features as it is usually done in applied linguistics research but with reference to transgression afforded in the borrowed voices. The significance of popular culture in language and identity research can only be unravelled when language is considered as transglossic rather than heteroglossic.
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