This project investigates the ideologies manifested in the discourses concerning legalization of same-sex marriage. In October 2013, the citizen-drafted same-sex marriage act was delivered to the Legislative Yuan of Taiwan. Since then, the draft act and the subsequent legalization process have ignited several waves of intense public debates. This research project explores this highly controversial social issue with a linguistic perspective. Following the method outlined in Verschuruen (2012), this project explores the ideological formation in the competing discourses from several pragmatic angles: the use of pronouns “we” and “they”, the use of the identity labels “tongzhi” and “tongxinglian”, the use of “gao da” (as high as), “jin”, “zhiyou” (only, as low as) when reporting survey/scientific figures, along with conceptual metaphors concerning “family” and “marriage”. Data used in this study include the discourses produced by two opposing activist groups--Taiwan Alliance to Promote Civil Partnership Rights, an activist-group that initiated the drafting of same-sex marriage act, and the Taiwan Family Protection Alliance, which takes an oppositional stance. With the massive amount of data commonly seen in controversial events, two corpora were established to facilitate the investigation. Results reveal that the two camps show systematic and substantial differences across the examined aspects of language use, with the supporting camp focusing on broadening the concept of marriage and family and the opposing camp taking a defensive stance to maintain the status quo. The project is closely related to three areas of study: (1) ideology and discourse, (2) language, gender, and sexuality, and (3) conceptual metaphor. The project wishes to contribute to a theoretical discussion about the interaction among the three areas of study and to enrich them with the fresh topic, data, and method. It also seeks to make a contribution at a societal level, that is, to increase our understanding of the highly controversial social issue through a linguistic lens.
|Effective start/end date
|2017/08/01 → 2019/07/31
- discourse analysis
- language, gender, and sexuality
- same-sex marriage
- conceptual metaphor
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