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Don't mess with chicks in Burberry paddings: Semantic change in hip-hop lyrics and its impact on mainstream American English
Växjö University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Humanities.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Some people might regard the language of hip-hop as being crude, sexist and inappropriate. Nevertheless, hip-hop culture can also be considered as one of the underground sources of word-formation and language change in mainstream English. Young people have always been a source of language variation and lexical innovation whether we like it or not.

This essay is focusing on three words frequently used in hip-hop lyrics, namely pimp, queer and chick. The aim of the study is to analyse the semantic change on these words as they are used in hip-hop music and find out whether hip-hop culture has had an influence on the mainstream usage of these words.

The method used was to study the usage and frequency of these words in hip-hop lyrics and analyse whether there was a similar use in a large diachronic newspaper corpus of American English. The material was predominately found in The Original Hip-hop Lyrics Archive (ohhla.com) and The TIME Magazine Corpus (corpus.byu.edu).

The results of this study show examples of semantic change in both hip-hop lyrics and mainstream American English and it is concluded that hip-hop culture has an influence on mainstream language above all among the youth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. , p. 24
Series
LÄRARUTBILDNINGEN
Keywords [en]
amelioration, chick, hip-hop lyrics, mainstream English, pejoration, pimp semantic change, slang, swearwords, queer
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Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:vxu:diva-2358OAI: oai:DiVA.org:vxu-2358DiVA, id: diva2:206281
Uppsok
humaniora/teologi
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Available from: 2008-10-21 Created: 2008-10-21 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf