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Slang Processes 1

SlangProcesses

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SlangProcesses

It is a commonoccurrence to use slang in the current and contemporary world.Significantly, slang is mostly used in “urban set ups.”

Slang is acollective form that defines the words, phrases and expressions thatare informal and very specific to a certain area. They have differentforms, meanings and pronunciation that mainly depend on the areasthey are being used. Slang formation and use is temporary. However,other slang continue on to be in use for longer periods of time andpassed on to subsequent generations. When this is achieved, the slangbecomes part of the local society, and that will seem strange tooutsiders. Various skeptics argue that slang words start as “groupwords” that focus attention in the specific group that is oftensmaller in size. Nonetheless, the slang may roll out to be used by alarger group.

As observed in themodern world, slang is mainly an invention that seeks to separate theoutsiders and the insiders. Linguistically, agroup distinguishes itself from another “rival” group. Generally,slang tends to be adopted by the outsiders as well and when thishappens, the slang will cease to function in its originally intendeduse and the further consequences will lead to the replacement of theoriginal words by the new slang words. This new effect can be termedas the slang killing.

Slang is differentfrom colloquial speech. Colloquial speech is more far-reachingand widespread common and understood by a larger group of people.Examples of colloquial speech are:

  • ain’t

  • gotta

  • wanna

  • snogging

  • eat my dust

Moreover, in theHistory of Linguistics, slang has often been confused with cusswords. That should not be the case because cuss words have a longlasting and permanent effect as compared to slang words that arefleeting (lasting for a short while) in their effect.

Moreoften than not, slang will describe the negative or taboo things, oreven the extremes. Also, slang words refer to female than to malesexes.

Slang originalityis similar to the slang process. Therefore, the formation of newwords depends on a few crucial factors. The factors are:

  • Age- Every different age has its own words that suits it. Therefore, each age creates words that are only inside-based. Basically, the youths have more slang than the older people.

  • Ethnicity- In the US, the African American community is seen as the community that has the use of most slang words. The Afro-American slang is often co-opted by other groups as well. However, other ethnic groups have their own slang words as well.

  • Interests- As seen, the Hip Hop music genre tends to incorporate more slang than any other genre. Gang members have very a deep and complex slang as well. Thus, slang formation is dependent on the interests and the objectives of the particular group.

Discussion

Itwould be easy to define the lexicon of a language as the set of wordsit has. This is largely true, except that this set of words is ratherdynamic. Words are added, words are lost, and meanings change. Theterm lexiconhas two senses, one psychological, the other sociological.Psychologically, each speaker of a language has his or her own set ofwords – a sort of personal lexicon. &nbspIn linguistic textbooks,the lexicon is often called a person’s mental dictionary. This is abad metaphor, as nothing remotely similar to a dictionary has beenfound in anyone’s brain. Repertoire would be a better metaphor. Inthe sociological sense, the lexicon is the set of words that allspeakers of a language use – the set of all the different words ina speech community. It is very likely that most persons in a speechcommunity do not know all of the words in their language but canrecognize more words that they actually can use.

Thereare a number of ways by which languages make new words to add totheir lexicons. McGregor points out that when a new word is createdor borrowed, it has to conform to the phonological and morphologicalrules of the language. Here is a list of processes that can yield newwords to a language:

Itwould be easy to define the lexicon of a language as the set of wordsit has. This is largely true, except that this set of words is ratherdynamic. Words are added, words are lost, and meanings change. Theterm lexiconhas two senses, one psychological, the other sociological.Psychologically, each speaker of a language has his or her own set ofwords – a sort of personal lexicon. &nbspIn linguistic textbooks,the lexicon is often called a person’s mental dictionary. This is abad metaphor, as nothing remotely similar to a dictionary has beenfound in anyone’s brain. Repertoire would be a better metaphor. Inthe sociological sense, the lexicon is the set of words that allspeakers of a language use – the set of all the different words ina speech community. It is very likely that most persons in a speechcommunity do not know all of the words in their language but canrecognize more words that they actually can use.

Lexicons,psychological or sociological, have certain characteristics. One isopenness, in the sense that new words can always be added to alexicon. Lexicons have classes of words, the parts of speech.McGregor mentions that lexicons contain word roots (either bound orunbound) and many derived words. This means that some units in thelexicon are not real words, so sometimes the term lexeme is usedinstead of word for items in the lexicon. In addition, lexiconscontain phrases that carry meaning that cannot be determined fromtheir words. These multi-word lexemes are called idioms. In EnglishHe kicked the bucket,meaning a male person died, is an idiom.

Thenormal processes of word-formation are seen in slang but slang tendsto be more creative.

Thereare a number of ways by which languages make new words to add totheir lexicons. McGregor points out that when a new word is createdor borrowed, it has to conform to the phonological and morphologicalrules of the language. Here is a list of processes that can yield newwords to a language:

  1. Clipping: Clipping is making a word shorter. One or more syllables are eliminated from a polysyllabic and disregarded. According to Allan (Linguistics Meaning Volume 1, 1986) clipping should be divided into three categories:-

  1. Foreclipping– cutting the first words off, for example:

burger forhamburger, phone fortelephone

  1. Backclipping– Tail-end of original word is cut off. For example:

lab forlaboratory ,demo fordemonstration

c.Fore-back clipping-Both the initial part and the tail-end are chopped from the originalworld. This form of clipping is rarely seen. For example: fluefor influenza,jams forpajamas/pyjamas

Other notable English examplesare examfrom examination,and auto fromautomobilelautomatic.McGregor mentions that sometimes the clipping almost completelyreplaces the source word. Fangenerally has replaced fanatic,and pubis much more common than publichouse, for example.

  1. Acronyming: Acronyms are words formed from abbreviations of full words. The words are often too many for you to write or speak. There are two types, spelling acronyms, where the letters of the abbreviation are named, and word acronyms, where the abbreviation is spoken as a word. Examples of:-

  1. Spelling acronyms are NBA, USA, UN, NPR,BBC, CNN, NBC,UN and USB examples of

  2. Word acronyms are FIFA, UNESCO, NATO, UNICEF, FIBA, and NASA.

  1. Blending: Using parts of two or more words to form a new word. The non-morphemic components are blended/mixed into one. Often, it involves the taking of the beginner of a word and joining it to the end of another word. The classic examples are:

Brunchfrom breakfastandlunch,

– email fromelectronic andmail,

-Internet frominternational andnetwork,

-Motelfrom motorand hotel,and

-Smogfrom smoke andfog.

  1. Borrowing: Borrowing is a very common process for obtaining new words. Words from other languages added to a lexicon of a language are often called loanwords (although the borrowers almost never return them). The majority of words in English has been borrowed from other languages. Borrowed words will obviously adopt to the phonology of the borrowing language. Classic examples are:-

  • Yogurt from Turkish culture.

  • Democracy from Greek

  • Mancho from Spanish

  • Ombudsman from Swedish

Recentborrowing in English are sushiandkaraoke from Japanese,and safari,from Swahili.

Insection 4.3 of the chapter, McGregor discusses processes that producenew words from existing words. Here is one of them:

  1. Compounding: Compounding is creating a new word from combining two or more existing words. This process is also very common in English. Compounds are lexemes composed from two or more free forms, for example:

  1. Facebook derived from Noun + Noun

  2. Anticlimax derived from Adjective + Noun

Examplesof compounds are:

Password

– Baseball

-Raincoat.

InEnglish, some expressions begin as phrases and then become compounds,even though they may be still spelled as two words. Examples are webpage, vacuumcleaner, and aircraftcarrier. One of theclues that these are compounds is that the intonation and stresspatterns are shifted to strengthen the first word.

Conclusion

Examples ofcommon slang are:

– Buck: onedollar.

– Chick (noun): Youngwoman, girl. This term is considered offensive by other people.

– Drama queen: Someonewho thrives on the dramatic side and is too emotional andsentimental.

– Hit the road: Toleave.

Slang is term that is used bypeople in social situation where they feel comfortable with theirfriends. Slang is usually used in non-formal situation. It can make aconversation become more intimate. Slang term is used in almost alloral language and usually used to express people’s feelings andcreativities.