Slang across Societies : Motivations and Construction book cover
1st Edition

Slang across Societies
Motivations and Construction

ISBN 9781138558830
Published September 4, 2018 by Routledge
384 Pages

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Book Description

Slang Across Societies is an introductory reference work and textbook which aims to acquaint readers with key themes in the study of youth, criminal and colloquial language practices.

Focusing on key questions such as speaker identity and motivations, perceptions of use and users, language variation, and attendant linguistic manipulations, the book identifies and discusses more than 20 in-group and colloquial varieties from no fewer than 16 different societies worldwide.

Suitable for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students working in areas of slang, lexicology, lexicography, sociolinguistics and youth studies, Slang Across Societies brings together extensive research on youth, criminal and colloquial language from different parts of the world.

Table of Contents

Chapter One: Linguistic data – varieties, sources and methodologies

Chapter Two: Nonstandard language – concepts and perspectives

Chapter Three: Youth and criminal language practices – attitudes and motivations

Chapter Four: Invention and borrowing

Chapter Five: Semantic change

Chapter Six: The role of affixation

Chapter Seven: Compounding and reduplication

Chapter Eight: Phonetics and phonology

Chapter Nine: Clipping and abbreviation

Chapter Ten: Final Comments

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Jim Davie pursued an academic career as a researcher and lecturer in Russian at the University of Portsmouth (1993–98) before moving on to work in the civil service. He has written Slang Across Societies as an independent researcher.


"Slang is one of the forms of language that provides key insights into a culture's current mindset. Its lexicon and style reflect, literally, how people think and act in everyday society. Although slang has been studied from every possible linguistic, psychological, and sociological angle over the last 6 to 7 decades, I have never come across a treatment so thorough and insightful as this book by Jim Davie. Not only does it cover the historiography of slang studies in a comprehensive manner, but also provides many new avenues of research, including youth slang in criminal contexts and in digital universes. The style is is clear and engaging, and in fact I could not put the book down. It is the most important work on slang written in the last few years. It is a must read for linguists and cognitive scientists, as well as anyone interested in how language is evolving." - Marcel Danesi, Full Professor of Linguistic Anthropology, University of Toronto