Mary-Caitlyn Valentinsson

About Mary-Caitlyn Valentinsson

I'm a sociolinguist and linguistic anthropologist who studies how media and pop culture shape the way people use language.

Generally speaking, I'm interested in how consumers and producers of pop culture and mass media use language as a semiotic resource for accomplishing different kinds of interactional goals, as well as how these processes shape broader language ideologies.

My dissertation brings together lines of research in linguistics, anthropology, and various other social sciences in an effort to understand how global media circulation shapes the way that people use and think about language on a local level.

To do this, I'm studying the linguistic practices of Argentine fans of English-language mass media in both online and offline contexts. I collected linguistic and other semiotic data from 4 main digital communities: Facebook groups that connect predominantly Spanish-speaking Argentine fans of various English-language media products;, a blogging website which is a major area for fandom-related activities on the Internet and a predominantly English-medium space; and Argentine fan accounts on both Twitter and Instagram. In 2018, I traveled to Buenos Aires to collect "real life" data from members of these communities, as well as Argentine fans of English-language media whose fandom lives are not so strongly tied to online communities.

This work will help us better understand how the relationships between language, identity, and community-- central issues in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology--are changing in the face of increasing globalization and technological change.

I've also worked on topics such as variation and language ideologies in Dominican Spanish, how celebrities use different kinds of media to communicate with their fans, specialty coffee talk (with Bill Cotter), media uptake of mass shooter manifestos (with Jessica Ray), and variation in Arizona English vowels (with Lauren Hall-Lew, Mirjam Eiswirth, and Bill Cotter).

Selected Publications

Submitted. “Being Online and Offline in Buenos Aires: Reflections on the changing nature of the ‘field site’”.

Forthcoming, with William Cotter. “Bivalent class indexing in the sociolinguistics of specialty coffee talk”. Journal of Sociolinguistics.

Forthcoming. “Stance and the construction of authentic celebrity persona”. Language in Society.

2018. “Proper is whatever people make it: discursive strategies and positionality in language ideologies”. In Kate Beeching, Kate, Chiara Ghezzi and Piera Molinelli, eds. Positioning the Self and Others. Linguistic perspectives [P&bns 292]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

2017. Hall-Lew, Lauren, Mirjam Eiswirth, Mary-Caitlyn Valentinsson, and William Cotter. “Northern Arizona Vowels”. In Valerie Fridland, Tyler Kendall, Betsy Evans and Alicia Wassink, eds. Speech in the Western States, Volume 2: Inland West, Chapter 4, pp. 59-82. Publication of the American Dialect Society. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

2016. Valentinsson, Mary-Caitlyn. “Object marking of motion verbs in Dominican Spanish”. Divergencias: revista de estudios lingüísticos y literarios 14(1).


Courses Taught

  • Race, Ethnicity, and the American Dream (ANTH 150A1). In-person, TA.
  • Many Ways of Being Human (ANTH 150B1). In-Person, TA and Instructor of Record.
  • Language (LING 150A1). In-Person and Online, TA.
  • Introduction to Linguistics (LING/PSY 201). In-Person, Instructor of Record
  • The Nature of Language (ANTH 276) Online, Instructor of Record
  • Language and Gender (ANTH 303) Online, Instructor of Record
  • Varieties of English (ANTH 383). Online, Instructor of Record.
  • Language and Social Issues (COMM/LING 320). Online and in-person; TA and Instructor of Record
  • Structure and Meaning of Words (ENGL/LING 322). Online, Instructor of Record.

Research Interests

Sociolinguistics, language ideology, language in the mass media and popular culture, discourse analysis, computer mediated communication, digital ethnography, pragmatics, Spanish, English, code-switching, consumption, circulation, intertextuality, heteroglossia, class, globalization, stance, indexicality

Mary-Caitlyn Valentinsson's picture

Contact Information


BA from City University of New York. CUNY Baccalaureate Program for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies: concentration in Language, Culture and Society. 2012.

MA from University of Arizona in Linguistics. 2014.



University of Arizona Ally Trainings

Safe Zone (LGBTQA+ Ally training) (2017)

Undocupeer (Immigrant Student Resource Center support training) (2017)

Dissertation Title

(tentative) Language Use and Global Media Circulation Among Argentine Fans of English Mass Media