African American Slang: A Linguistic Description by Maciej Widawski

By Maciej Widawski

During this pioneering exploration of African American slang - a hugely casual vocabulary and an important point of African American English - Maciej Widawski explores styles of shape, that means, topic and serve as, displaying it to be a rule-governed, cutting edge and culturally revealing vernacular. Widawski's accomplished description relies on a wide database of contextual citations from millions of up to date assets, together with literature and the click, song, movie and tv. it is also an alphabetical thesaurus of 1,500 consultant slang expressions, outlined and illustrated via 4,500 utilization examples. because of its big dimension, the word list can stand on my own as a dictionary offering readers with a competent reference of phrases. Combining scholarship with user-friendliness, this publication is an insightful and useful source for college kids and researchers in linguistics and basic readers drawn to exploring lexical edition in modern English.

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African American Slang: A Linguistic Description

During this pioneering exploration of African American slang - a hugely casual vocabulary and an important point of African American English - Maciej Widawski explores styles of shape, that means, subject matter and serve as, displaying it to be a rule-governed, cutting edge and culturally revealing vernacular. Widawski's entire description relies on a wide database of contextual citations from hundreds of thousands of latest assets, together with literature and the click, tune, movie and tv.

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According to Biber (1999: 1031), binomials are relatively rare in standard English; nevertheless, some of them are quite popular in African American slang. Here are a few instances: We were out here dancing every day. 1 Combining 31 All I do all day is max and relax [¼ relax and have a good time], and smoke pot (Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down, film, 2006) Whites and blacks live together harmoniously. I like living in a salt and pepper [¼ interracial] neighborhood (Tuscaloosa News, 1996) Y’all always pull that shit, but it’s time to show and prove [¼ provide hard and concrete proof] (Jay-Z, 2000) Yes, this year as our guests arrive, they can style and profile [¼ boast or act in a showy way] for the paparazzi on the green carpet during the reception (Charlotte Observer, 2010) He is accompanied by music, outtakes, antics and poetics: singing, talking and testifying [¼ celebrating through verbal acknowledgement] about peace, family, and art (Hearing Voices, 2010) Rhyming is not always restricted to reduplicative and binomial compounds.

Secondly, while African American slang is a significant part of African American English, not all African American English is slang. Moreover, slang is essentially lexical in nature, while African American English extends over the lexical level, exhibiting phonological and syntactical characteristics as well. One should bear these distinctions in mind. 2 Methodology It is important to explain the methodology used in this study. Because of the focus on the descriptive (or empirical) element, special importance was given to the collection of reliable and authentic linguistic data which would serve as the basis for analytical observations.

The word itself has numerous meanings and connotations in African American culture. , suggesting a deep and shared cultural identity as well as group allegiance and affirmation. ” (Just Go with It, film, 2011) The gesture dates back to at least the 70’s, when it briefly appeared, only to be soundly defeated by the soul shake [¼ intricate handshake to demonstrate solidarity, popular among African Americans] (New York Times, 2001) Lauren Turner goes for a retro soul sound [¼ moving form of popular music rooted in African American tradition, especially rhythm and blues] with Etta James (USA Today, 2011) The prefix word white is used to form nominal compounds.

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