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Analysis of group language usage

2020-07-20 来源: 51Due教员组 类别: Essay范文

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下面为大家整理一篇优秀的essay代写范文 -- Analysis of group language usage,文章讲述美国作为一个种族不同的大国,毫无疑问在不同地区会有不同的口语。例如,据说加利福尼亚被划分为“ NorCal”和“ SoCal”,其中两个竞争激烈的口语地区在年轻人中广为人知。同样,我们知道,即使是在亲密朋友中,语言的使用也存在差异。许多评论家一直在研究语言使用的差异,其中地区差异被认为是最大的原因。实际上,我发现语言使用的差异不仅是由于地区原因造成的。

 

Analysis of group language usage

Introduction:  

 America, as a big country with different races, has no doubt to have different colloquialisms in different regions, for example, California is said to be divided into “NorCal” and “SoCal” with two competing regions of colloquialisms known among youth. Also, it is known to us that there are differences in the use of language even within close friends. Many critics have been studying the differences of language use, among which the region difference is considered to be the biggest reason. Actually, I found that the difference of language use is not only owed to the regional reason. Judith T. Irvine (1985) defined the style of linguistic study I was conducting as “honorifics and politeness…the speaker relation to addressee” (p. 560). The “honorifics” and “politeness” represents the status of speakers, which shows that different language use is connected the status of group apart from the regional differences. Also, through referring to many materials, I took notice of the importance of language in the formation of identity of youth subcultures. David Hummon (1994) asserts that Slang was important for youth in college because it was more descriptive in defining their experiences and attitudes towards undergraduate life (p. 76). Likewise Mary Bucholtz (2000, 2002) expands and goes on to say how language is not only important in defining a group’s experience but also the group itself.  Slang can define the “in-group” and can often come from shared taste in music or shared taste in counter culture attitudes (p. 281-82). Therefore, apart from the regional reason, the hierarchy or status and cohesion of a group plays a large role in the slang and language the members of the group use when addressing each other.

 

Methods:

To study the subculture of different language use within a group, I choose to observe language use among my friends within a close group that I belong to, and to interview a friend who is part of the group as well. When observing my friends’ language use, I tried to observe their typical linguistic interaction and to capture exact phrases and the context in which these phrases were said by taking notes in a notebook without informing them I was recording parts of our conversation. As for the interview, I interviewed my friend about his ways to communicate with people. I also wanted to get an understanding for his awareness of his expressions, where he acquired them, and if he associated them with only our group. 

 

Analysis

Observations:

To observe the different language use within a group, I went to my friend’s apartment after coming back from the gym with Frank. The apartment has students from different places, including Frank from Los Angeles, Paul from Santa Fe and Walt that I did not know where to come from. Through the observations of the conversations within the group, I found that language use becomes casual, simple and close because the group’s hierarchy and cohesion. During the observations, I told them I had to do some work whilst we watched the tube but did not inform them that the work I was doing was actually observing them. 

 The language use is casual and simple within a group. For example, when I arrived at the apartment, Paul was smoking a cigarette on the couch watching Fox News and I sat sat on the sofa with Paul who said “what up brotha”. “What up brotha” equals to “what’s up, brother?” or “what’s wrong with you?” But Paul did not say to me like that. “What up” is used simply and casually. “Brotha” is short for the word “brother” and casually shows the close relationship between Paul and me. Also, when Walt came back to the apartment, his first words were “Rather Broke”, “What the hell are you guys watching”. The words he used actually are not impolite and a little bit aggressive to people. But such words can be used casually within a group and can give rise to better effects closing the relations among the people in a group. As students, it is easy to understand that such words are normal and are often used between classmates and friends.

 Language use sounds incorrectly grammatical at all times. When Frank emerged from the bathroom, he teased Walt telling him how much “talent” there was at the gym repeating “talent, so much talent” slowly making hand gestures as if he were conducting the words. Walt replied “Jee-sus, too bad you always bring it rather weak.” Frank flexes and taunts “rather swoll.  Rather swoll.” Obviously, “Jee-sus, too bad you always bring it rather weak”, “rather swoll.  Rather swoll”, or “so much talent” sounds very strange and incomprehensible, as there are obvious grammatical mistakes among these sentences. But these words are easily understood among this group’s people and fail to produce problems on the communications among them. The close relationship makes the language use simple and casual, although the language use seems to be ungrammatical.

 Language use is sometimes specialized among the people within a group that the conversations can be only understood and comprehended by the people in a group. During my observations in the apartment, Walt becomes bored with his texting and demands we pick a dope film and put it on, while Frank suggests the basketball game but everyone tells him that no one cares about it and that LA doesn’t play till the next day anyway. Frank agrees saying fine I’ll watch a movie with my two best friends and Walt. (a reference to an earlier joke that for about a week it would always be our best friends and Walt-“yeah I’m with my good homies and Walt” for example). Actually, Frank is joking when he is saying fine I’ll watch a movie with my two best friends and Walt. But the joke would fail to give rise to other people’s reflect as they have no background about the joke, which is the special conversation among the group. As students, we often hear of somebody has tacit understanding with another people and their conversations confuse us but make them laugh a big laughter.

 Through my observations in my friend’s apartment, I found that language use is different among people at different time and at different occasions. Conversations sound casual and simple among friends within a group and may be only understood by the group’s people.

 

Interview:

The interview was based on my interview with a friend who, although he was not part of the original observation, is a member of the group. Although it was a formal interview I tried to make it as informal as possible. I thought that if it were more like a natural conversation more of his slang would come out and I would get a better sense of his true feelings about things. Because of this desire I stuck loosely to my protocol depending on where the conversation went and referred to it more as a reference. Through the interview, I found that the slang use within a group is good way to play jokes or make fun of others, and there are still some places on communications that should be paid attention to even within a group.

Slang can be used as a good way to play jokes or make fun of others within a group. In the interview, I asked him his attitude to slang when he used it within our group and he explained that he used it mostly out of habit but also because “you guys know what I’m talking about. It’s the best way to make fun of you guys.” I asked who he though deserved making fun of the most. He went on to explain it depended on the situation. He said obviously Walt gets it most often but that was because he was the funniest to tease. I continued that thought and asked why else do you tease us.  He and I discussed how sometimes it is out of fun, other times it is because someone is getting too cocky so everyone else will gang up on him, and other times it is to put them in check. I asked for an example of when one is put in check. He brought up when we call each other pathetic or say each other are doing something pathetic. Pathetic is pronounced slowly and although there is still fun about it, it is definitely a demand to take a look at what one is doing wrong.

In addition, there are still some places that need paying attention to when communicating with members of a group. I asked him what he thought was inappropriate to talk about. He said “moms” I asked him to expand.  He said just anything serious or “too smart that no one else gives a shit about”. I then asked him how he felt about other kids we know. I asked him his specific feelings about a few members of a group we sometimes socialize with. He said that most of them were either “chill” or “dweeby” depending on the individual. I asked him to summarize how he speaks with them.  He said I know but I asked him to explain. He said we make fun of them behind their backs but when we are with them it is all of the “formalities and bullshit”. I asked him why and he explained how it wasn’t comfortable enough to make fun of each other yet as it could still be read as hostile and he didn’t want “to have to smash any heads” over some trivial (Personal Communication, April 23, 2009).

 

Conclusions:

    The study still has many biases that need to be improved. Because of the lack of time, I just observe one group of my friends and interview one person when collecting the raw information. Also, if I had more time, I should use several observations as the raw data to make the study more convincing.

The expression of colloquialisms and wit are different depending on someone’s origin but they play an important role in the socializing structure within groups of friends. Wit and language is a way to express ones authority or status and thus becomes a form of competition.  Though the language sometimes suggests that this competition is malicious that is not the case at all. It is rather a way for members to assert the strength and to test other members of the group’s value and strength and thus is also a foundation for building respect and friendship. Walt for instance is the smallest in stature but he seemed to make fun of people the most by calling them weak; in a sense compensating for his small size. Also Frank teases Walt about money which is ironic because Walt is well off despite his efforts at thriftiness. Frank knows that this subject annoys him most and thus is asserting his power to annoy, and testing Walt’s resolve for comebacks. I also confirm that language helps in creating identity as many of the slang was based off of inside jokes which would not makes sense to others. I think it is too far to agree with Bucholtz (2002) that we have formed out own ethnicity but I did confirm Irvine (1985) in her assertion that language is very multidimensional and that we use what is valuable to our group.  Thus a group of affluent white boys use slang from inside jokes and ghetto rap music to establish status and identity. I also determined that these kinds of expressions dominate interactions as they are entertaining and unless the conversation is private and specified, serious matters are inappropriate. As I discussed in my interview, it is also important to note that it is only acceptable to insult and tease one’s close friends but that when acquaintances were addressed it was mostly respectful and polite.

The study is of great importance, because the study provides a special perspective of language use among a group. With the study, people, especially the students, can know the features of the language use among familiar people and take notice of what should be talked about and what should not be discussed within a group. Thus, it is necessary to further the study in the future to make people understand the language use within a group.

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