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Book: Choice in Language

Chapter: 1 ‘Busty babes and passionate pleasures’: A systemic functional linguistic analysis of sex worker discourse in a South African city

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.21901


This chapter draws on a corpus of one month’s newspaper advertisements for commercial sex published in the ‘Social’ column of The Herald, a provincial, South African, English-language daily newspaper with a liberal reputation, and a reader base of over 245,000. It reports on the way sex workers construct their identities and the services they offer in these entries. It also considers the inferencing work that readers must do to interpret the entries.

Chapter Contributors

  • Ralph Adendorff ( - radendorff1)
  • Kiran Pienaar ( - Pienaar1357424988)