Date of Award

5-2019

Culminating Project Type

Thesis

Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.

Department

English

College

College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Edward Sadrai

Second Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Third Advisor

Maria Mikolchak

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

gay language, YouTube Coming Out videos, coming out, corpus linguistics, language and sexuality

Abstract

With the spread of the Internet and social media, researchers were presented with a novel object for investigation – YouTube Coming Out videos. Scholars quickly took up on scrutinizing the phenomenon from various perspectives: as a rhetorical action, an online sanctuary, a tool for developing and spreading the gay collective consciousness, etc. However, in the evolving diversity of studies on YouTube Coming Out videos, I failed to find any that are concerned with corpus linguistic analysis, which is highly instrumental in disclosing linguistic trends and unusual characteristics of the texts. Therefore, the main aim of the current study is through the means of corpus linguistics to investigate specific lexemes and collocations that have been used by YouTubers in their Coming Out Videos. More specifically, the study focuses on discovering the distribution of lexical items and collocations in the speech of the YouTubers and pinpointing major thematic groups that emerge from these keywords as a result of general qualitative coding. For the purposes of the current study, two hundred and four coming out stories were selected, vetted, and transcribed into the machine-readable format. The transcripts were further analyzed by the medium of corpus linguistics software that enabled revealing lists of keywords, frequencies, collocations, and concordance lines. Redistributing the most frequently occurring single- and multi-word keywords led to identification of emergent properties – in my case, major themes discussed by the narrators. Among the themes this study identified are Family, Education, Relationship, Social Media, Vlogging, General Gay-Related Items, Sexuality, Coming Out, Profanity, Homophobia, and Religion. The pinpointing and analysis of the themes and frequent collocations have expanded current studies on YouTube coming out narratives and facilitated better understanding of the contents and rationale behind sharing such deeply personal stories.

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