In the pertinent literature

In the pertinent literature, most definitions of slang show a tendency towards a sociological view of the phenomenon. This view is accepted, among others, by Eble (1996) and Munro (ed.) (1997) who basically regard slang as a social means of identification and cohesiveness within a group (cf Allen 1998). A second fundamental approach is stylistic. In line with this, slang has to be arranged among the “varieties according to attitude” (Quirk et al 1985: 25-27) as it “includes words that are below the level of stylistically neutral language” (Stenstrom et al 2002: 67). A third relevant approach emphasizes the aspects of novelty and freshness of slang, and characterizes it as a language variety that exhibits a leaning towards lexical innovation (Dundes & Schonhorn 1963, Mencken 1967, Olesen & Whittaker 1968, Dumas & Lighter 1978. Sorrig In most agree that the word may be defined with least two senses. First, slang is the restricted speech of marginal or distinct subgroups in society and, second, it is a quite temporary, unconventional vocabulary characterized primarily connotations of informality and novelty. In the OED instance, siang is described both as the special vocabulary or phraseology of a particular calling or profession” and as a “language of a highly colloquial type, considered as below the level of standard educated speech, and consisting either of new words or of current words employed in some special sense” What follows is an overview of the definitions of slang from various perspectives, including the sociological, stylistic and linguistic approaches, as well as its lexicographic description. 2.1.1. The sociological approach Within the sociological approach, slang is ascribed the two opposite purposes of keeping insiders together and outsiders out. On the one hand, Eble (1996: 11) stresses the social and interpersonal aspects of slang and its function “to establish or reinforce social identity or cohesiveness within a group or with a trend or fashion in society at large 2 Accordingly, sharing the same slang vocabulary aids both to gain acceptance in a group and to preserve group solidarity (Munro ed. 1997). Speaking in more general terms, slang is a socio- cultural practice that speakers privilege for such social purposes as being on the same speech-level with one’s audience, facilitating social intercourse, and inducing friendliness or intimacy On the other hand, lang is said to serve antisocial purposes such as marking social differences (Allen 1998), opposing people in authority (Eble 1996), and hiding secret information or improper behaviour from them (Franklyn 1961, Andersson ; Trudgill 1990 Stenstrom et al. 2002). In particular, slang is viewed as an in-group vocabulary that certain subclasses in society (e.g. criminals drug addicts) cultivate to keep the content of their conversations private. or which such specific subgroups as adolescents or college studen adopt to keep the older generation at a distance The two conflicting social and antisocial tendencies of slang are evident in the effects it may produce: if sometimes it appears playful amusing, ma ome other times, signal the speaker’s


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