Teenage labelling: "Are you a jock or a freak?"

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University of Calgary
There are three classes in speech that reveal personal characteristics of the speaker: those that indicate membership in a group, those that characterize the individual and those that reveal changed states of the speaker. In this paper I am dealing with the indicators of group membership, the group markers. A group-marked vocabulary is social, it reflects the members' interests and reinforces group solidarity (Laver & Trudgill, 1976). The subject matter is related to the activities of the group (Browen & Fraxer, 1976). Physical appearance and situation are important factors in determining a person's group membership (Siles, Scherer & Taylor, 1976). The social groups of a high school can be identified by the way their members dress, act and speak. Students wishing to be identified with one of these groups modify their appearance and behaviour to match the target group's norms. The language use that the students adopt is one of the ways they achieve solidarity within the group.
Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Ethnology
Bowes, J. P. (1983). Teenage labelling: "Are you a jock or a freak?". Calgary Working Papers in Linguistics, 9(Summer), 7-16.