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Title: I can haz language play: The construction of language and identity in LOLspeak
Author(s): Gawne, Lauren
Vaughan, Jill
Keywords: language play
computer-mediated communication
english grammar
Internet memes
Publisher: Australian Linguistic Society
LOLspeak is a complex and systematic reimagining of the English language. It is most often associated with the popular, productive and long-lasting Internet meme ‘LOLcats’. This style of English is characterised by the simultaneous playful manipulation of multiple levels of language. Using community-generated web content as a corpus, we analyse some of the common language play strategies (Sherzer 2002) used in LOLspeak, which include morphological reanalysis, atypical sentence structure and lexical playfulness. The linguistic variety that emerges from these manipulations displays collaboratively constructed norms and tendencies providing a standard which may be meaningfully adhered to or subverted by users. We conclude with a discussion of why people may choose to participate in such language play, and suggest that the language play strategies used by participants allow for the construction of complex identity.
Citation: Gawne, L. & Vaughan, J. (2012). I can haz language play: The construction of language and identity in LOLspeak. In M. Ponsonnet, L. Dao & M. Bowler (Eds), Proceedings of the 42nd Australian Linguistic Society Conference – 2011, Australian National University, Canberra ACT, 2-4 December 2011 (pp. 97-122).
Type: Conference paper
ISBN: 978-0-9802815-4-5
Appears in Collections:Conference publications

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