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A native of the New York City urban area, CJ Withers grew up with a passion to learn others' languages and to teach his first language. His fascination with the cultural, political, economic, and identity-based diversities of his multilingual environment in New York would later inspire his sociolinguistic inquiry.
American English being his first language, he is fluent in French - the language in which he conducts his daily life. He is often mistaken as a European French-speaker by some Quebeckers and as Québécois by the French, Swiss, and Belgians. Thanks to extended visits for both work and study, he is very well-acquainted with Paris, France, and Saint Petersburg, Russia.
In 1993, he obtained his B.A. from Drew University, where he majored in French Language, Culture and Literature while minoring in Russian Language. His coursework, however, reflects more a degree in Modern Languages given that he also studied in Linguistics, Spanish, German and Italian. In response to the total lack of Quebec-related courses within his major, he pursued an independent study on Quebec Literature highlighting the culture, history, and identity crisis of its Francophone population.
In 1998, he completed a Certificate in French to English Translation from New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies. In the same year, he moved to Montreal, Canada to began coursework in the M.A. in Linguistics (Language Teaching Track) at UQAM (University of Québec at Montréal). As with his B.A., he took a broader approach to his M.A. studies and completed courses not only in didactics but also in theoretical linguistics and sociolinguistics / sociology of language. He was forced to abandon his program to care for a family member injured in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. He is currently preparing his thesis to complete the Ph.D. in Linguistics at Complutense University of Madrid.
Having worked both in the public and private sectors, CJ Withers is currently an autonomous language instructor, a free-lance translator and an independent researcher in linguistics.
- Linguistics (lx), contextual vs. autonomous lx, bridges between micro-lx and macro-lx, and between social vs. asocial lx
- Sociolinguistics (slx), sociocultural linguistics , language varieties, sociolects, various norms, language contact
- Sociology of language, Bourdieu, language attitudes, linguicism (language predjudice and profiling), (social and legal) status and corpus planning
- Discourse analysis; Framing, George Lakoff
- Language, power and gender, women's studies, men's studies, homophobia as key element to masculinity; Robin Tolmach Lakoff
- Gay and anti-gay ideology discourses (written and oral), hate speech, loaded language; identity politics and identity construction discourse, communitarianism in France; transgender discourse and terminology
- Lexical semantics, lexicology, terminology; insults and terms of disparagement; buzzwords, code words, power words, snarl/purr words (from S.I. Hayakawa)
- Secondary orality, Bakhtin, dialogism, centripetal and centrifugal forces between sociolects, polyphony (mistranslated from многоголосия - polyglossia; often mistranslated into French as "polylinguisme" or "plurilinguisme"), heteroglossia (mistranslated from разноречие - social variation in speech or social speech varieties); note that the mistranslation "heteroglossia" has spawned several back-translations: разноголосица, гетероглоссиа, and многоязычие...see comment on this mix-up at 
- ESOL, Autodidactism, Andragogy, Social constructivism, Vygotsky, instructional scaffolding, classroom metalanguage, deductive and implicit grammars
- Sandhi phenomena, consonant mutation, clitics, and elision (all within L2) vis-à-vis foreign or second language acquisition (SLA)
- Phonemic Awareness, phonics, authentic transcription
- Verbal Syntax and Aspect - English and French; conceptual models for English verbs in ESOL
- French to English Translation: technical, legal, social sciences, arts
- Quebec French: linguistic features, attitudes, discourse on "quality"; Media literacy, cultural literacy, functional illiteracy in Quebec
- Gender-neutral language; non-sexist language in French ; -"@" ending in Spanish; French pronouns: epicene ilz and eulx; neuter yl;
- Spanish spelling reform; orthography of Breton; eye dialect, pronunciation spelling, spelling pronunciation; alternative political spellings
Work on Wikipedia
To translate into French
To translate into English
- Denise Bombardier (also added info/ reworked in French)
Articles started, to start
Proof-reading and copy-editing
Travels and Life
|Spent several years in:|
|Spent one month or more in:|
|Spent a few days in:|
|Planning to see:|
|Idea and layout adapted from N-true, who lifted it from|