Representations of Gay Men in the Dialogue of Will & Grace: A Corpus Driven Analysis and Social Discussion

By analyzing frequencies and collocates of character-divided subcorpora, this quantitative study describes the corpus-linguistic representation of gay men in Will & Grace. Results derived from these linguistic representations were used to provide evidence for or against proposed sociological theories on the subject.

Will & Grace provides, not a single-dimensional, positive, and socially progressive depiction of gay men, but a multifaceted portrayal that includes, whether intentionally or not, linguistic inequalities that depict homosexuality as not fully accepted or even acceptable. By placing these corpus-linguistic findings in conversation with the sociological studies mentioned, it becomes clearer that Will & Grace was hindered by the writers’ social perceptions about the audience it successfully attracted, in spite of being called a gay sitcom.  (Download the Paper)

João’s Role: Author

Determinants of Adult Narrative Maturity in Brazilian Portuguese Speakers (B.A. Thesis)

Two experiments were carried out map the relationship between adult narrative maturity, age, educational background, and distance from gaze context. As proxies for narrative maturity, this study relied on Epistemic Qualification & Self Correction, Description of Character Emotion, Temporal & Causal Event Segmentation, and Basic Overt Stringing.

Correlations were found between narrative maturity and different adult demographic groups. The correlations found, however, were inconsistent with those previously determined by child development studies.

​Future analysis of variables such as primary narrative tense and the use of active/passive perspectives may provide methods to reconcile the inconsistencies found. (Download the Thesis)

João’s Role: Author

Marinotti, J. (2013). Determinants of Adult Narrative Maturity in Brazilian Portuguese Speakers (Undergraduate Thesis). Columbia University.

Tense and Aspect: Portuguese and Other Romance Languages

Members of the Western Romance Languages share roughly the same verb paradigm descended from Vulgar Latin. They retain the existence of most of the verb tenses found in Latin and share many of the innovations created upon the historical changes through Continental, Italo-Western, and Western Romance. These similarities are clear when comparing the verb paradigms of existent tenses in the languages, but the mere existence of a tense does not prove its usage.

Through a small-scale corpus analysis, it was determined that syntactic and semantic usage of written verb tenses retained a remarkable level of similarity across Portuguese, French, and Spanish.  The spoken usages, however, were significantly different. (Download the paper).

João’s Role: Author

Wakhi Borrowings Register and Written Language

In spite of the rapid pace of lexical borrowings and language change in Wakhi, a language spoken in Wakhan, near the borders of Tajikistan, China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, native speakers indicate that an the language has not developed a native Indo-Iranian higher register. (Download the paper).

João’s Role: Author