BRIDGING THE GAP: Romantic couples’ use of code to create meaningful connections in the face of divergent linguistic backgrounds

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dc.contributor.advisor McIntosh, Janet Cohen, Eliana 2018-06-22T17:02:57Z 2018-06-22T17:02:57Z 2018
dc.description.abstract Through interviews with fourteen inter-linguistic couples in romantic relationships, this work explores the methods of communication that couples develop that enable them to form satisfying connections through language that address their differing linguistic backgrounds. The idea of a "couple-code" is introduced and theorized in depth, as a central part of communication for many romantic dyads in which partners do not share the same native language, particularly those who subscribe to Western notions of romance. The couple-code is a hybrid language naturally constructed by each couple, that incorporates each partner's dominant language along with other linguistic, and paralinguistic, elements that are specific to them. The couple-code serves as a way to index closeness and solidarity between partners and helps partners overcome the "language barriers" that monolinguals so often assume is an insurmountable challenge for inter-linguistic partners. This work sheds light on how codeswitching, as part of the couple-code, works to index important feelings between partners, and how its use provides couples with a unique language that is tailored to their individual needs and their specific relationship. Rather than the language barriers between partners being a primary cause for the issues that inter-linguistic partners face, the real causes of stress on these relationships come from the imposition of essentialisms and language ideologies that others map onto these couples. When in private, inter-linguistic couples are typically able to communicate in creative and successful ways that work for them, especially after they have been together for significant time; it is only the inclusion of external forces that cause language to become a problem for inter-linguistic couples. Inter-linguistic relationships provide a platform for studying intimate communication in a fascinating way.
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Eliana Cohen 2018
dc.title BRIDGING THE GAP: Romantic couples’ use of code to create meaningful connections in the face of divergent linguistic backgrounds
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Department of Anthropology BA Bachelors Anthropology Brandeis University, College of Arts and Sciences

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