Onomastics in Interaction With Other Branches of Science. Volume 2.

Indexicality and Performativity: A Theoretical Approach to Transgender People’s Self-Chosen First Names

Carin Leibring Svedjedal
Dpt. of Scandinavian Languages, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden


The paper presents a theoretical approach to transgender people’s self-chosen first names and pronouns in Sweden. The theoretical concepts of indexicality and performativity are introduced, and their potential to serve as a framework for socio-onomastic studies of self-chosen first names and pronouns is explored and discussed. The paper is based on an ongoing dissertation project in Scandinavian Languages, which mainly focuses on combining socio-onomastic and discourse analytical research material in order to provide an interdisciplinary view on names, discourse, power and ideology. This is done through a qualitative study where I use surveys, interviews and discourse analysis. The paper presents a few examples from the survey to further elucidate the concepts of indexicality and performativity, and draws conclusions about ways that these concepts may be suitable to apply to socio-onomastic material.

indexicality, performativity, socio-onomastics, transgender studies

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