Martin Gill
Table of contents

Notions of authenticity have helped to structure the values and frames of reference of linguistics, sociolinguistics and pragmatics without, until lately, being widely discussed. Despite this recent attention, authenticity remains problematic in various ways. (1) It is notoriously hard to define; according to Trilling (1972:120), it is one of those words “which are best not talked about if they are to retain any force of meaning.” (2) It is paradoxical, as Culler (1988a:164) points out:

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