Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2018

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Barbara Fox, Department of Linguistics

Second Advisor

Zygmunt Frajyzngier, Department of Linguistics

Third Advisor

Chase Raymond, Department of Linguistics

Fourth Advisor

Timothy Kuhn, Department of Communication


Identity is socially constructed and emerges through discourse, where identity is claimed, negotiated and challenged through linguistic practices. Both on-record and off-record linguistic resources are utilized as mechanisms of identity construction and negotiation. This project involves analyzing a conversation among a focus group of four individuals, who are negotiating the identity, “Colorado native”. The research draws upon conventions of conversation analysis to reveal identity-work that is being done in a minute-long segment of conversation; more specifically, this research builds upon current linguistic research done by Bucholtz and Hall (2005) and Kitzinger (2005), as well as focuses on off-record elements of conversation like gaze organization, gesturing, and facial expressions that occur in cohesion with identity construction. Off-record behaviors such as gaze organization, gesturing and facial expressions have seldom been analyzed with identity and from a conversation analysis perspective. This study provides insight into the micro-linguistic practices of identity formation and negotiation in discourse through looking at identity-work being done in a conversation between Colorado natives and non-natives.

Keywords: identity, identity-work, conversation analysis, gaze organization, on-record, off-record, linguistics, Colorado native, native vs non-native