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The sociolinguistics of place and belonging : perspectives from the margins

Playing against Peripheralization

A commentary

The three chapters in this section make a mutually informing set that is as intellectually rewarding as it is fun to read. They share a center-periphery analytic frame with other contributions in the volume, but they are distinguished as a set by their shared focus on what Sari Pietikäinen (2016) calls carnivalesque critique, quite literally in the Limburgian event that Lotte Thissen examines. In all of these cases, minoritized speakers use humor, parody, and/or ritualized spectacle to disrupt the center-periphery framework and to subvert peripheralization. In turn, the three cases differ from and complement each other by revealing varying techniques that actors in specific marginalized communities use to carry out such disruption. In the following sections of this commentary I will first examine some facets of the center-periphery theoretical framework that seem especially relevant to sociolinguistic work. I will then consider both the shared and the different techniques of humorous contestation that these papers illuminate.