Voicing Connection to English

Language Ownership, Legitimization, and Stancetaking

  • Jacqueline Aiello University of Ferrara
Keywords: language ownership, editing and revision training, language and identity, legitimization, stance


The present study explores the nature of the connections that advanced English language users enrolled in a graduate editing seminar had with English and how they articulated these connections. In particular, it aims to unveil the multifaceted nature of language ownership, the resources participants occasion to explicate their language ownership and, more generally, their relationships to English. It also seeks to unearth the resources they draw on to legitimate their connections to English and how they achieve this legitimation linguistically. To explore these dimensions in a more elaborated fashion, the study combines both quantitative analysis and qualitative approaches, for which an overarching poststructuralist lens to discourse analysis was employed, applied to different data sources. Findings disclose the ways in which agency and adherence to norms impact ownership, how users position themselves with respect to and in terms of their target language, and how they voice their connections (or lack thereof) to English.