Shonna Trinch

Shonna Trinch

Shonna Trinch
Associate Professor
Phone number: 
Room number and address: 
9.63.15 NB


1999 PhD   University of Pittsburgh
1996 Graduate Certificate-University of Pittsburgh
1995 MA   University of Pittsburgh
1990 BA    Pennsylvania State University


Shonna Trinch is Associate Professor of Linguistic Anthropology. She received her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in Spanish Linguistics. She has conducted fieldwork in the U.S. Southwest where she spent 13 months studying the ways in which Latina women and sociolegal authorities in 10 different institutional settings collaborate and conflict in the creation of narratives of domestic abuse. Professor Trinch has published extensively on these topics.

Professor Trinch's current research focuses on gentrification, urban redevelopmetn and linguistic landscapes in Brooklyn, NY. 

Scholarly Work



Latinas’ narratives of domestic abuse: Discrepant versions of violence. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Corporation, November 2003.
This book examines the discourse of Latina survivors of domestic violence in the U.S.
Legal System in order to understand how stories evolve and change as victims of crime must narrate past events to institutional authorities.


1. “Bilingualism and representation: Locating Spanish-English contact in legal institutional memory.” Language in Society, 2006, 35(4):559-593.

2. “The Acquisition of Genre and Authority: Latinas, Intertextuality and Violence,” The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law (formerly, Forensic Linguistics) 2005, 12(1): 19-48.

3. “Narrating in protective order interviews: A source of interactional trouble,” in collaboration with Susan Berk-Seligson. Language in Society, 2002, 31(3):383- 418.

4. “The advocate as gatekeeper: The limits of politeness in protective order interviews with Latina survivors of domestic violence.” Journal of Sociolinguistics 2001, 5(4):475-506.

5. “Managing euphemism and transcending taboos: Negotiating the meaning of sexual assault in Latinas’ narratives of domestic violence,” Text, 2001, 21(4):567- 610.


“Deconstructing the “Stakes” in High Stakes Gatekeeping Interviews: Battered Women and Narration.” Forthcoming in Journal of Pragmatics, Julie Kerekes, guest editor.


“Rape and Domestic Violence: The Pragmatic Use of Gender in Latina Women’s Narratives of Abuse.” Submitted to The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law (formerly, Forensic Linguistics).


“Language Weapons Past and Present.” Anthropology News. November, 2005, 45(8): 12.

“Hispanic/Latino”, 1000-word entry for Encyclopedia of Rape, Merril Smith (ed.). (2004), Greenwood Press.

“Battered women”, 1500-word entry for Encyclopedia of Rape, Merril Smith (ed.). (2004), Greenwood Press.

Book Reviews

Book Review for Forensic Linguistics: The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law 2002, 9(2): 239-245. Representing Rape: Language and Sexual Consent. Routledge, Susan Ehrlich.

Book Review for Journal of Sociolinguistics 2004, 8(4): 595-600. Masking Terror: How Women Contain Violence in Southern Sri Lanka. University of Pennsylvania Press. Alex Argenti-Pillen.

Research Summary

2006 National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) with Edward Snajdr. (Requested $338,651-- Funding Pending).

2005 PSC-CUNY Grant: $2010 for summer project, Speaking of Diversity: U.S. Minorities and U.S. Institutions

2004 Visiting Scholar Fellowship, Brooklyn Law School.

COFRS Award, $8,000 for Summer research on Spanish in Legal Institutions, Florida State University.

National Science Foundation Career Program, “Changing Narratives of Illness and Violence: Research and Teaching on U.S. Latino Language and Culture in Medical and Legal Settings,” Submitted, but not funded.

2003 Winthrop-King Graduate Student Assistantship Award, $3,000 for Spring to train a graduate student to work on two articles in progress. Florida State University.

1999-2000 First Year Assistant Professor Award for Research, received May 2000, Florida State University.

1998-1999 Andrew Mellon Predoctoral Fellowship. University of Pittsburgh.

1997-1998 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvements

Research Grant, SBR # 9709938, Law and Social Science Program.

1997-1998 Social Science Research Council, Sexuality Research Program Fellowship.

2004 Howard Heinz Social Policy Fellowship. Awarded, but declined because of campus residency restrictions requiring fellow to be at the University of Pittsburgh.

Area of Expertise

Faculty Expertise: topics/keywords

Sociolinguistics; Pragmatics; Ethnography of Speaking; Law and Language; Forensic Linguistics; U.S. Latino Spanish/English; Domestic Violence; Rape; Sexual Assault; Narrative and Testimony

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