Lal Zimman (FAQ)
[lɑɫ ˈzimn̩]

zimman at linguistics dot ucsb dot edu

Assistant Professor
Department of Linguistics
South Hall 3518
University of California, Santa Barbara
Lal Zimman

A Bibliography of Research on Trans People & Language

Please send me any and all suitable additions!

What is in this bibliography?
Compiling this bibliography presented two challenges: defining trans and defining research on language.

For the purposes of this bibliography, trans is used as an umbrella label for any group whose gender identities or presentations diverge from the expectations for their assigned sex to the extent that they see themselves or are seen by others as non-normatively or non-binarily gendered. Some of these authors do not use words like trans(gender) to describe the speakers, and some even emphasize that the speakers they discuss are not trans. However, I have included them if they have made important contributions to the study of trans and gender non-conforming language. Groups covered also include non-binary/genderqueer individuals; drag queens, cross-dressers, & gender non-conforming cisgender individuals; Indian hijras and kotis; Tongan fakaleitis; Thai kathoeys, toms, and dees, etc. Publications on language and intersex people are included here too. All pieces in this bibliography in some way center trans/gender non-normative groups, as opposed to mentioning them briefly.

For the purposes of this bibliography, research on language includes publications in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, socially-oriented discourse analysis, discursive psychology, communication studies, conversation analysis, and gender/sexuality/queer/trans studies. I welcome additions of all kinds, including those written by trans activists and authors outside of the academy, so long as language is a primary focus. However, I cannot claim to present an exhaustive list of relevant publications in every one of these fields, and I rely on reader submissions to make this document more complete. Not generally included here, however, is research by speech pathologists studying trans people's voices. It can be difficult to draw a firm line between speech pathology and other fields, however, so a few publications of this sort may be included if they prove particularly illuminating. I welcome additions that are particularly strong, influential, and/or culturally sensitive accounts from speech-language pathologists.

Finally, I have included published works in English including books, journal articles, and other published essays, but please feel free to submit publications that have been published in other languages. I have not included conference papers except where authors have sent me a permanent link to the paper; theses and dissertations are similarly included only where authors have alerted me to their existence.

Links here lead to official locations, but publications authored by me can also be found elsewhere on this site.


  • Zimman, Lal (2018). Transgender voices: Insights on identity, embodiment, and the gender of the voice. Language and Linguistics Compass. Early view e12284.
  • Zimman, Lal. 2009/2018. "The other kind of coming out": Transgender people and the coming out narrative genre. Reprinted from Gender & Language 3(1) in Tommaso Milani (Ed.), Queering Language, Gender and Sexuality. Shieffield, UK & Bristol, CT: Equinox. 124-147.