LINGUISTIC AND PARALINGUISTIC ANALYSIS OF THE TEXT PRODUCED BY HIJRA (TRANSGENDER) COMMUNITY LOCATED IN LAHORE, PAKISTAN
Keywords:Hijra, Eunuch, Hermaphrodites, Language, Farsi.
This study is an attempt to shed a light on the linguistic and paralinguistic attributes of the text produced by the Hijra (eunuch or hermaphrodite) communities through different discursive practices while constructing their social discourse. These particular communities are mostly established in the suburb of Lahore from where a sample comprised 25 members of the hijra communities was selected to carry out an in-depth analysis of their distinctive text. The data was elicited through interviews and observations and it was discovered that they communicate through a vernacular dialect of Punjabi, may be labeled as hijra vernacular. They claimed switching into the garbled Urdu sometime for communication outside their group. Their community of practices cover registers (e.g., khol for home, luri for girl, khondi for mother, santla for clothes, jog for hair and so on) are exclusive to them. Gender is not a fixed category for hijras and they use masculine and feminine pronouns according to the masculine or feminine roles assigned to them in their groups. In addition to linguistic features, they express themselves through paralinguistic features (e.g., clapping, facial expression, and gaze) as a meaning making source in their discourses.