Date of Completion
Honors College Thesis
Department of Romance Languages and Linguistics
Dog Related Speech, Linguistics, Pragmatics, Communication, Audience Design, Politeness Theory
In this thesis I investigate the pragmatics of dog-related speech (DRS), or the ways in which people use language when speaking around dogs. I will focus on several varieties of speech that are directed to or through a dog but are in fact intended for another human present. In particular, I look at a phenomenon that I will refer to as “interactive dogcourse” where members within the ingroup of “dog people” interact with one another in a ritualized structure of language, specific to speech with dogs, that characteristically takes on a playful, and often teasing, undertone. I argue that the structure of dogcourse in relation to speech act theory, speech acts, audience design, and politeness theory allows for a distinct environment within which people effectively communicate with one another and accomplish a variety of different social functions. I analyze both how and why people utilize DRS and interactive dogcourse to communicate with others by analyzing the form taken by such speech events, the function of dog-mediated speech, and the power/effect of the language itself.
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Benevento, Alexander V., "“Yes, You Know a Dog Person When You See One, Don’t You?”: A Pragmatic Exploration of Dog-Related Speech" (2020). UVM Honors College Senior Theses. 334.