Lavender Language in Smile as they Bow Translated by Alfred Birnbaum and Thi Thi Aye


  • Su Khine Oo Department of English, Yangon University of Foreign Languages


concordance, corpus, gay language expressions, lavender linguistics


According to Maxwell (2003), lavender linguistics has been an intriguing study of language including pronunciation, lexicons and semantic ranges used particularly by gays and lesbians. This paper aims to investigate lavender language used by natkataws who are gay spirit mediums in comparison with male speech by straight men in Alfred Birnbaum and Thi Thi Aye’s English translated version of the novel Smile as they Bow originally written by Nu Nu Yi (Inwa, 2007). In analyzing lavender language, gay speech characteristics proposed by Jacobs (1996), Berrett (1997), Livia (1997), Podesva, Roberts and Campbell-Kibler (2001), and Lakoff (2004) were adapted to form a model. Descriptive qualitative method was used to convey comprehensive account on gay speech features in the novel and quantitative method was applied in numerical analysis of collected data using Concordance in WordSmith Tool 8.0 and Stepwise Multiple Regression (IBM SPSS Statistics 26.0). Results of the research proved that the use of gay language expressions and their grammatical functions depended on sexuality – Gay or Straight. It is hoped that this paper will serve as in initiative for researchers of lavender linguistics to observe language used by gays and lesbians in literature to justify how natural the queer language observed in literature is.


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How to Cite

Su Khine Oo. (2020). Lavender Language in Smile as they Bow Translated by Alfred Birnbaum and Thi Thi Aye. Linguistic Forum - A Journal of Linguistics, 2(3), 31-37. Retrieved from