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|[ Article ]|
|Forum for youth culture - Vol. 45, pp. 35-59|
|Abbreviation: Forum for Youth Culture|
|ISSN: 1975-2733 (Print)|
|Print publication date Jan 2016|
|Received 13 Dec 2015 Revised 16 Dec 2015 Accepted 18 Dec 2015|
|A corpus-based analysis of media coverage of youth language culture in the UK|
|Sangmyung University, College of General Studies , Assistant Professor|
영국 미디어의 청소년 언어문화 보도에 관한 코퍼스기반 분석
|상명대학교 교양대학 조교수|
This study aims to analyse the treatment and perception of youth language culture in the mainstream British media, employing corpus methods. A corpus comprising 100 articles collected from BBC and five British newspapers is used for analysis. The findings can be summed up as follows. Firstly, the teenage use of slang is presented as an issue that causes difficulties in building relationship between young people and their parents/ teachers. Secondly, it is presented as a problem that disadvantages young people in achieving success in exams and employment. Lastly, young people and adults are construed as recipients of some form of intervention with adults needing help to understand the teenage language and young people needing instructions and discipline to stop them from using slang for their own benefit. The main contribution of this study to the field of youth language culture is that it has brought in a perspective of discourse analysis, expanding the scope of youth language study as it is shown that the media representation of young people and youth language in South Korea is an area of research that is yet to be fully explored. Another contribution is that it has sufficiently demonstrated the viability of using corpus methods, which are also yet to be widely employed in studying youth language in South Korea. The bottom-up approach to data in corpus analysis is effective in minimizing an analyst's own agenda and preconceptions influencing analysis and interpretation, and thus strengthening the interpretive rigor. For future research, one meaningful avenue of research to consider is how young people from families of North Koreans settled in South Korea or from multi-cultural families are viewed in terms of their linguistic identity and experience of adapting to the new language culture in the media. Understanding how our society views and treats these minority youth groups may help raise public awareness on tolerance and diversity, and develop and implement better policies and programs to educate and foster linguistic integration and understanding among South Korean youths.
본 연구의 목적은 코퍼스 언어분석 방법론을 사용하여 영국의 주요 언론에서 비속어(slang)으로 대표되는 영국 청소년 언어문화를 어떻게 다루고 인식하고 있는지를 분석하는 데 있다. 이를 위해서 BBC를 포함한 영국의 주요 미디어에서 2000년대 이후 청소년 언어사용을 다룬 기사 100개를 수집해 구성된 코퍼스를 분석하였다. 코퍼스 분석 결과는 크게 세 가지로 요약될 수 있다. 첫째 영국 미디어에서 청소년들의 언어문화는 청소년들과 그들의 부모님과 선생님 사이의 관계적 문제로, 특히 양자 간의 소통의 문제로 제시가 되고 있다. 둘째, 청소년들의 비속어나 유행어 사용은 성공적인 학업성취와 취업에 장애로 작용하는 우려의 대상으로 인식되고 있다. 마지막으로 청소년들과 성인들 모두 국가나 사회의 도움이 필요한 수동적인 존재로 제시되고 있다. 즉 청소년들은 대학시험과 취업에서 유리하도록 언어사용에 대한 지도와 통제가 필요한 존재로, 그리고 성인들은 청소년의 언어를 이해해 그들과 소통의 관계를 형성하도록 도움이 필요한 것으로 대표되고 있다. 본 연구는 청소년언어문화 연구에 담화분석을 적용한 연구로서 한국에서는 아직 많이 시도되지 않는 영역으로 청소년언어 연구의 지평을 확장했다는데 의의가 있으며 방법론적으로 코퍼스언어학을 접목시키고 있다. 코퍼스 방법론 사용의 가장 큰 장점은 자료를 접근할 때 분석자의 주관적 관점이나 목적에 의해 분석과 해석의 방향이 결정되어지는 것을 최소화함으로써 분석과 해석의 엄격도를 향상시킬 수 있다는 것이다. 향후 연구로는 코퍼스를 사용하여 북한이탈 청소년과 다문화가정 청소년들의 언어문화와 정체성이 한국 언론에서 재현되는 방식을 살펴 보고자 한다.
|Keywords: corpus, corpus methods, young people, teenage, youth language, youth language culture, representation, British media
키워드: 코퍼스, 코퍼스 방법론, 청소년, 언어, 언어문화, 영국 미디어, 재현
Culture, in a narrow sense, means particular social groups’ or individuals’ life style, hobby or artistic activities, and preferences. In a wider sense, it can be defined as a way of life that is perceived as appropriate or correct by members of a certain social group or an organization(Park, 2015). Incorporating the both senses of culture, youth culture can be defined as unique life style, hobbies, ways of expression, and values that are enjoyed or shared by teenagers, distinct from those of adults or children. In youth culture, language is one of the most essential elements which form youth identity distinct from the older generation. As language is a medium of communication and transmission of culture, young people see and interpret the world through the language which they use. They share a sense of community among themselves through the use of their own language, while separating themselves from the older generation or their parents.
The issue of youth language has been a prolific area of research in South Korea, primarily from an educational point of view. Most research focuses on surveying the use of slang, swear or buzz words, and more recently online or text language uses among teenagers while stressing the need for providing young people with education and guidance on appropriate language(see Cho, 2013, Jeong, 2012, Kim, 2012). Examining how young people use language is crucial in understanding young people and developing any policy and guide on effectively educating young people on their language use. Meanwhile, relatively little research into the issue seems to have been carried out from other perspectives. This study’s main interest is to look at the issue from a discourse analysis perspective, shifting the focus of analysis to the issue of attitudes and perceptions on young people and their language use from the language itself. Young people’s language culture is a socially relevant issue and it will be worthwhile to investigate how the issue is viewed by the society. In particular, the study examines the media representation of youth language in Britain. The news media plays a pivotal role in influencing and shaping the public’s view and opinion on social events and groups, and thus it matters how young people and their language culture are reported and represented by the media. In terms of methods of analysis, the study employs the use of a small-scale corpus and corpus techniques. By looking at the representation of youth language in the British media, the aim is to suggest methodological directions for future research into the South Korean media representation of teen language culture and form a basis for a comparative study between South Korea and the UK. With this goal in mind, the following two research questions are pursued:
Firstly, how is the issue of youth language is represented in the British press?
Secondly, how can the use of corpus methods contribute to future research on the representation of youth language culture in the South Korean media?
Adding to the existing literature on the issue of youth language, the current study endeavours to examine the topic from an under-explored perspective of media discourse analysis by applying a corpus approach.
As noted in the introduction section, in researching teenage language in South Korea, the main area of interest has been to survey the usage of slangs, swear words, or buzz words and online or texting language behaviour of young people and their attitudes towards their own language use. For example, Byun and Lee (2004) collect texts from internet communities run and used by teenagers and analyse the cultural characteristics of their language use such as emoticons or chatting slangs. Park(2005) collects data from emails, online postings, and chat room logs produced by high school students, and investigates how new words are coined, for instance, by the use of prefixes such as 개(gae meaning completely), 왕(wang meaning extremely), 초(cho meaning extremely) or suffixes such as 질(jil meaning an act), 짱(jjang meaning the best). Park and Park(2009) report on the findings of a survey in which middle and high school students are questioned about what slang words, swear words, or abbreviations they use and how often they do when communicating online and also asked to suggest ways of ‘purifying’ their language use. In Kim et al(2011), students from elementary to high schools are surveyed on a variety of aspects on their use of slangs, swear words, and buzz words including the frequency of the use, reasons for using these types of language, and self-evaluation on the appropriateness of their language use. The study also has yielded some instructive results. Young people are most actively introduced to slangs and swear words while they are in middle school and found to use fewer slangs and swear words if they are from a family who spends more time together talking and have parents whose parenting style is more democratic and liberal. Lee and Kim(2013) conduct a survey of young North Korean settlers on their use of slang and buzz words, and experience on being exposed and adapting to the new youth language culture in South Korea. They find that the successful linguistic adaption plays an important role in these young people’s overall success in life in South Korea and they may benefit from being given some systematic instructions on the use of slang and buzz words. For more studies, see Oh(2010), Jeon et al(2011), Kim et al(2012), Kim et al(2013), and Kim and Lee(2013).
One study that stands out is Kim(2014). It examines the newspaper representation of youth language in South Korea by manually analysing 77 newspaper articles from five major South Korean newspapers published between 1980 and 2012. The analysis looks at the distribution of articles on youth language in terms of the time period of publication of the articles, the newspaper sections in which they appear, and the types of articles. The findings show that the number of the articles published is consistently on increase over the given period of time, they mostly appear in the ‘society’ section of the newspaper, and as a feature article. The headlines of the articles are also analysed in terms of the tone, i.e. whether the tone of each article is neutral, positive, or negative towards the issue, and it is found that the articles is dominantly negatively toned. Lastly, the four frames of ‘purification’, ‘delinquency’, ‘growth’ and ‘conflict’ are drawn from analysing the full text of each article. Then two articles are further analysed in detail to see how ‘discourse-forming strategies change based on these frames’ (2014: 84). This study is similar to the current study in that it moves away from the trend of mapping out and evaluating the actual usage of language by young people, and pays attention to social perceptions and attitudes towards the issue of youth language through analysing how the issue is represented in the media. However, the current study takes a different methodological approach, as will be shown in the next section on methodology and analysis.
The remainder of the section briefly introduces the literature on the application of corpus methods to studying media language and discourse. There is a growing interest in the use of corpus techniques in media discourse analysis. Stubbs can be credited with theorising and demonstrating how the issue of media representation can be approached from the corpus linguistics point of view(1996, 2002). Frequency data and recurrent patterns produced by corpus analysis can show how ‘recurrent phrases encode and transmit cultural information’ and studying them can ‘provide empirical evidence of how the culture is expressed in lexical patterns’(Stubbs, 1996: 169). In relation to the role which the media plays in propagating certain ways of representation, the analysis of reporting of youth language culture by the mainstream British media is meaningful in that it will reveal lexical and discoursal patterns, which characterize the representation of young people and their language culture in the media and which may potentially contribute to the forming of the British public’s view on youth culture in general.
The seminal work in the application of corpus methods in looking at the representation of certain social groups is Krishnamurthy(1996). He investigates the use of the words ethnic, racial and tribal in the British press, showing that these words, despite the fact that they are similar in meaning, are actually used to refer to different countries and groups of people with different connotations, and reveal subtly prejudiced treatment of countries in Africa by the British press. A whole range of issues and topics are dealt with in previous corpus studies of media language and discourse. Topics are typically chosen because they are concerned with minority social groups or controversial issues which represent inequality and injustice, for example, refugees and asylum seekers in Baker and McEnery(2005), Baker et al(2008), Gabrielatos and Baker(2008), the representation of women’s voice in the British newspapers in Caldas-Coulthard(1994), the SARS outbreak in Hongkong in Cheng(2006), immigration to the UK of Eastern Europeans in Coffin and O’Halloran(2006), the representation of nature in BBC in Goatly(2002), the privatisation of water supply in Jeffries(2003), aging and old people in Mautner(2007), the issue of political corruption in Orpin(2005), women and work in Page(2003), and the issue of globalization in Teubert and Čermáková(2004). While methodologically adopting from the existing literature, in terms of a topic, this study adds the new area, namely the media representation of teenage language to this growing body of corpus-based discourse study of media language. It is also hoped that the current study can serve as a springboard for future research into the media coverage of Korean teenage language.
A corpus is a collection of texts stored in a computer. It can be retrieved and analysed using a concordancing software such as WordSmith Tools(Scott, 2003), which is used for the current study. Corpus methods are essentially quantitative and typically used to see patterns in language use, or representation of social groups, events, or issues (Stubbs, 1996), for example, the issue of youth language discussed in the British media in the case of the current study. As noted in the previous section, looking at patterns in the language used to discuss certain social groups or issues can help reveal the ways they are viewed by the society, which may not always be obvious to our intuition. This study uses a small scale pilot corpus to test how effective the use of corpus methods can be for further full-scale corpus analysis of the issue in question.
In addition to the articles collected from the BBC online homepage, the corpus used for this study consists of articles from the following major British newspapers: the Guardian, the Independent, Mail Online, the Sun, and the Telegraph. A group of words are used as search words to search and download articles from the website of each newspaper. The words teenage, teen, slang, youth, language, teen speak are used in different combinations to maximize the number of articles identified and retrieved from the website. The newspapers mentioned above offer free access to their articles online (with the Telegraph imposing the weekly quota to download), however another main broadsheet the Times is found to require paid subscription to access articles, so has been excluded from the current project. All the articles are dated post-2000. It is not clear whether this is due to the fact that the issue of youth language began to be covered in the newspapers after year 2000 or these websites only allow search for articles published after the year 2000. This needs to be clarified when the corpus is expanded for future research on a larger scale.
The corpus contains 100 articles collected from BBC and the above mentioned newspapers. The articles are randomly selected after being sorted by relevance when searched, and the total number taken from each source is not the same as the amount of coverage of the issue of youth language differs from one newspaper to another. In total, 27 articles are found in the BBC website, while only 10 articles from the Independent website. These differences in the coverage distribution are an useful observation in themselves worth exploring further as they indicate how much attention is given to the issue of youth language culture among the British press. It should be also mentioned that the current study does not distinguish differences in ideological stance existing among different media outlets on the topic.
The outline of the corpus composition is given in Table 1. It should be noted that there were more articles retrieved from the Guardian, Mail Online, the Sun, and the Telegraph, but not included in the corpus.
|BBC||the Guardian||the Independent||Mail Online||the Sun||the Telegraph|
The articles are downloaded and saved as a text format to be processed using the Wordsmith Tools. The resulting corpus consists of 76,247 running words, and can be defined as a small corpus. Aston gives a grange of 20,000-200,000 words, while Gavioli gives a range of 50,000-1,000,000 words to define a small corpus(cited fro Baker et al, 2008).
Once the corpus is built, the first step in corpus analysis is to produce the complete word list of the corpus. This can be automatically done by a concordancing software. The word list is simple, but useful in that it can offer an insight into what words characterize the corpus at a glance. The high frequency words on the list can tell an overall direction of how discourse is constructed on a particular issue or topic. These words can be further analysed using the collocate and concordance analysis. Figure1 is a screen capture of the top 20 words of the teen language media corpus. This may not look meaningful at all. In any type of English language corpora, the top 20 most frequent words are grammatical words. For example, the top 20 words of the British National Corpus, which is a collection of written and spoken texts representative of modern British English includes; the, of, and, a, in, to(to-infinitive), it, is, to(preposition), was, I, for, that, you, he. While in-depth analysis of the grammatical words can produce fruitful results (see Gledhill, 2000, Groom, 2007), the current analysis will focus on content words. The words occurring with the minimum frequency of 10 are examined and are grouped into several semantic categories.
Table 2 presents the main semantic categories. It needs to be acknowledged that the categories are arbitrary to a certain degree in that they are intuitively drawn from the word list. Nevertheless, the use of sematic grouping can be effective in gauging the overall pattern of discourse on the given issue and providing pointers for further analysis.
|topic||slang, language(s), English, text, teen/ text/ youth speak, texting, street talk, (text) message(s), messaging, speech, communication, SMS, teenglish, abbreviation(s)|
|source||london, social, mobile, phone(s), internet, facebook, media, culture, urban, music, chat, technology, rap, Jamaican, tweet, multicultural, networking, email, little britain (a popular TV comedy show), vicky (a character from Little Britain who popularized the phrase whatev-ah among Briths teens), MLE (multicultural London English)|
|participants||people, children, young, teenager(s), parent(s), student(s), pupil(s), teacher(s), kids, youngster(s), generation(s), person, girl(s), youth(s), adult(s), emma thompson (the name of a famous actress), friend(s), emma, older, younger, child, daughter, boy(s), politicians, MP (member of parliament), government, police, teens, david lammy (the name of a politician), nick clegg (the name of a politician), experts, actress, peers, writers, texters, family, mum|
|education||education, school(s), university, academy, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, teaching, learn, reading, exam(s), gcse (high school leaving exam), harris (the name of a school), literacy, punctuation, sentence(s), accent(s), lessons, mark(s), grammatical, classroom, examiners, college, kerswill (the name of a school), secondary, primary, teach, learning, taught, a-level (university entrance exam), cambridge, ofsted (the Office for Standards in Education), result(s)|
|work and job||work, job(s), skills, ability, service, business, interview(s), market, argos (the name of a British retail chain), tesco (the name of a British supermarket chain), works, working, professional, company, customer|
|research||dictionary, linguistic, research, researchers, linguistics, lexicon, study, usage, definition, book, guide, OED (Oxford English Dictionary), oxford, author, professor, david crystal (the name of a renowned linguistics professor), lucy tobin (the name of a lexicographer), tony thorne (the name of a lexicographer)|
|evaluation||good, cool, bad, standard, different, better, important, problem, code, wrong, stupid, correct, formal, homophobic, properly, able, proper, difference, fear, sloppy, appropriate, mainstream, difficult, poor, excellent, standards, sacred, unable, basic, creative, positive, quality, traditional, queen’s (English), vital, humour, effect, interesting, useful, acceptable|
|examples of slang||gay (meaning bad), lol (laughing out loud), innit (isn’t it), bare (good), safe (good, a cool person), sick (good), buff (good looking), nang (good), wicked (cool), fit (good looking), yard (a house), bait (obvious), phat (cool), blud (brother), dench (good, excellent), minging (bad, unpleasant), waste (a person who acts in an idiosyncratic way), blood (friend), tool (a gun)|
A number of observations can be made from the semantic groups. Firstly, the ‘topic’ category includes the words that represent the main topic in the corpus (the presence of the words such as slang, teen speak, language is expected as they are the search words). Given below are the concordance lines of the word communication generated by the WordSmith Tools. Concordancing presents a word in the context in which it occurs.
fast-moving world there can be a communication barrier between generations. Ifthem talks" seems unlikely to aid communication. Rather, the special brand of cowould you know? Instead of aiding communication it can be a barrier. I can work could help improve staff-student communication. She said: “Language changes fasseful purpose in allowing precise communication within a specific group. Languag
From the context in which the word communication is used, we can see that one issue in the coverage of youth language is its posing communication difficulties between young people and older generation.
The second ‘source’ category consists of the words related to the source of creation of the teen speak or slang: the words like internet, mobile phone(s), social media represent the emergence of the new technology and mediums of communication, while the words like rap, urban, music, little britain refer to popular cultural influences on young people’s slang use. The words lonon and multicultural are part of the phrase Multicultural London English (MLE) referring to a new type of teenage slang which mixes English with a variety of ethnic linguistic influences such as Jamaica, West Africa, Bangladesh.
Thirdly, the ‘participant’ category presents the words representing participants involved in forming the discourse on the issue of teenage language. Most notably, the issue is construed primarily in terms of the relationship between children and parents, and between students and teachers, as indicated in the use of the word communication above. In the meantime, the presence of the name of the famous British actress Emma Thompson is prompted by her making the headline everywhere with giving a very impassioned speech at her old school about using a proper English.
The ‘education’ category indicates the concern over the use of slang from an educational perspective. It is interesting to see how the words sentence and sentences are used in an evaluative way in the concordance examples given below:
grunts, monosyllables and unfinished sentences of the young. Once, it was only a sters are incapable of stringing two sentences together, the most comprehensive on at them, ask them to finish their sentence, ask them why they said "whatever" 've also told pupils they can't start sentences with the word 'basically' or end nts that they can now no longer start sentences with ‘basically’ and end them wi ave also been instructed not to start sentences with basically or end them with y of saying "innit" after every single sentence. Simon , High Wycombe I think that y, and try to include “like” in every sentence. She devised the idea on holiday w sation of their speech, whereby every sentence is ended like a question. Peter C tion where the final syllable in each sentence plunges off an intonational clif teenagers are using far more complex sentence structures, a wider vocabulary an as the heinous practice of beginning sentences with "basically" or ending them
With the exception of the line given in bold, the students are negatively construed as being incapable of composing or articulating a correct sentence. Further, the presence of the words like exam(s), GCSE, A-Level indicatesthe use of slang is also problematized in the context of exam results, as can be seen from the expanded concordance examples of exam and exams:
ide of traditional grammar if they want to achieve their grades." The spread of texting to the exam room was revealed as GCSE boards prepare to publish results of six million entries next week. B
id find that today's teenagers are 10 times more likely to use non-standard English in written exams than in 1980, with even the most able pupils using colloquial words, informal phrases and text
about the use of slang expressions such as "gonna", "ain't" and "shouda" in GCSEs. Markers for the exam board Edexcel said "almost unforgivable" basic errors were made by apparently bright pupils. pupils
The ‘work and job’ category shows the use of slang among young people is also discussed in terms of employment:
earlier this week: "We are witnessing a decline in the overall level of communications skills within business, and the blame for much of this lies in the way technology is being used in the workplace." he wor
employers were having to carry out "remedial training" of some staff because of their poor language skills. Speaking matters "They are having to spend time and effort bringing people up to the level they wo
ing pupils' use of spoken English. The CBI said companies were having to pay to bring the language skills of some workers up to scratch. Basic grasp Phrases such as "what g'wan", which means "how are you d
The ‘research’ category presents another approach to viewing the teenage language issue, namely from a linguistic or lexicographic point of view. As can be seen from the two concordance examples below, the issue is viewed much more positively and in a relaxed way:
The English language is constantly evolving, the occasional "nang" meaning good, isn't earth-shattering Professor David Crystal "It seems more likely that young people have been growing up in London, being exposed to a mixture of second-language English".
But aren't these slang words also harmful to children's vocabulary? Not at all, says Thorne. "Government educationalists get all worked up about words like LOL - they see them as substandard and unorthodox. "But the small amount of research on this issue shows that kids who use slang abbreviations are the more articulate ones. It's called
The ‘evaluation’ category presents the words that may potentially convey either positive or negative evaluation on the issue of the use of teenage slang. As already indicated in discussion of the previous categories, the issue divides opinion and thus inevitably involves evaluation. Notably, the words like good, bad, wrong, stupid, correct, proper, sloppy, appropriate, poor, positive, acceptable denote a prescriptive judgement on the issue. This prescriptiveness may be to do with the fact that the discourse is formed from an adult’s point of view, and young people are not given much voice on the issue and passively positioned as a recipient of educational instructions. This is clearly in the case in the following example:
School bans slang! Pupils ordered to use the Queen's English in the classroom 'to help children get jobs' By Leon Watson Updated: 09:43 GMT, 15 February 2012 Parents can breathe a sigh of relief - but the local MP isn't impressed. A school
Meanwhile, the less obviously evaluative words such able, basic, effect, quality, and standard(s) are also found to be used in the context that carries often negative evaluation on the issue as shown below:
is fine in a social setting but a school should be a professional, educational environment and if part of that means banning slang then that’s fine by me. ‘Too often I see young people going into job interviews or writing cover letters without being able to use correct English. Any attempts to change that should be encouraged.’
However, half said they put their foot down when it came to written communications and always composed text messages in proper English. And a third blamed youth culture and slang for having a detrimental effect on children’s manners and behaviour. Rhoda Breakell, head of Genes Reunited, said: ‘It is said
But the study did find that the pupils familiar with text messaging wrote significantly less when asked to describe a picture or an event than those who did not use mobiles, potentially fuelling concerns that the quality and expressiveness of children's writing could be at risk even if their spelling is not.
novels by Stephenie Meyer. Slipping standards: Capital letters were used 'erratically' in GCSE English papers by a 'surprising' number of pupils, examiners have revealed
Teenagers are abandoning basic grammar and punctuation and resorting to text message slang in A-levels and GCSEs, examiners have revealed. They reported that
Lastly, the word list includes a group of slang words used by young people. What is revealing about these popular slang expressions is that they are mostly about evaluating something as either good or bad. This may be interpreted as suggesting a tendency of black and white thinking among British young people. However, more evidence is needed to substantiate this suspicion. It will be also interesting to see what type of evaluative language is used in Korean teenage slang and whether there is any similarity in the use of slang between young people in the two countries.
<Table 2> does not include verbs or verb-derived forms with the exception of reading, teaching, learn, teach included in the ‘education’ category. There is a whole range of verbs featuring on the word list. <Table 3> presents a selection of verbs and verb-derived forms, which are judged as most directly relevant to constructing the discourse on the teen language use.
|the act of using and creating language||use, used, writing, written, speaking, describe, spoken, communicate, write, wrote, express, described, grasp, copy, denote, developed, created, creating|
|the act of understanding||means, mean, understand, meaning, translate, understanding|
|the act of intervening||help, banned, ban, improve|
The act of using and creating language mostly construes young people as the agent, but in some cases, it is parents who are also found to be in the position of using teenage slangs as in the following example of the verb copy:
As a result, it may be too late to ‘turn the tide on our declining English’, said Mrs Clair. Incoherent: Parents who copy teenagers texting and facebook language are to blame for the deterioration of the English language Incoherent:
In the example above, parents ‘copying’ their children’s language is negatively evaluated as contributing to lowering the standard of English. However, in the example, the use of teen slang or texting language by parents is more positively viewed as an attempt to connect with their children:
of parents adopt the fashionable phrases and expressions their children use Hip at heart: Almost three-quarters of parents adopt the fashionable phrases their children use and 30 per cent use 'text speak' such as 'lol' (laugh out loud) While
Meanwhile, the act of understanding is mainly represented as something that parents or teachers do as illustrated by the examples of the verb understand:
Now Dr McEnery's findings have been used to produce a glossary of useful terms to help parents understand their sons and daughters over the Christmas holidays. Posted on student web site student-world.co.uk, the quick reference dictionary
youngsters use nothing else but abbreviations when they text, such as the reports in 2003 that a teenager had written an essay so full of textspeak that her teacher was unable to understand it. An extract was posted online, and
Because of parents’ or teachers’ difficulty to ‘understand’ the language of the younger generation, they are construed as needing a form of intervention as shown in the following example of help and improve:
while, but it could help staff-student communication.” Miss Tobin believes that the guide could help improve staff-student communication. She said: “Language changes fast and that can scare the hell out of parents, teachers and anyone who no longer braves the clubs on Friday night for fear of being 'too old'.
The intervention afforded to young people comes in the form of banning the use of slang for their own sake as shown in the following example of banned and improve:
October 2013 An academy in south London has banned popular slang words used by pupils in an effort to improve standards of English. No longer will words and phrases such as 'you woz', 'bare' and 'innit' be tolerated in the corridors of Harris Academy in Upper Norwood, one of 27 academies and free schools in and
While it seems to be more prevalent to view youth slang culture as detrimental to their education and employment, thus something that needs to be discouraged, there is also a view that the use and creation of slang is natural, integral part of establishing a young person’s identity as illustrated in the concordance example below:
anymore. "Slang is about people creating an identity, and that's what teenagers have done," he says. "They have created their own language and are proud to use it." A popular form of slang used by youngsters is what has been dubbed "multi-ethnic yout
This paper has set out to approach the issue of youth language from a discourse analysis perspective, which has been under-explored in the literature on young people and their language culture in South Korea, and incorporate corpus methods into studying the representation of the teenage use of slang in the British press as a pilot for a larger scale comparative study of youth language culture in South Korea and the UK. While the corpus used for analysis is relatively small-sized, nevertheless it has provided some useful observations regarding the two research questions posed at the outset of this study. As to the first question of how the issue of youth language is represented in the British press, the following three main discourse patterns are identified from the sematic grouping of the words on the frequency list and concordance analysis. Firstly, the teenage culture of slang is presented as an issue that causes difficulties in building relationship between young people and their parents/ teachers. It seems that the use of slang among young people is viewed as double edged: it is a natural way of creating young people’s identity unique from that of grown-ups. At the same time, however, it creates communication barriers that exclude grown-ups from their world. Secondly, the teenage use of slang is also presented as an issue that can disadvantage young people in achieving success in exams and employment. The implication is that this negative effect of youth language culture on education and employment prospective is potentially linked to the overall quality of life for young people in the long term. This point merits some investigation to verify if the perceived linguistic disadvantage attached to youth language in the media is indeed in case in reality by examining relevant empirical and statistical data. Lastly, in connection with the first and second points made above, it is shown that the British media construes young people and adults as recipients of some form of intervention with adults needing help to understand the teenage language and young people needing instructions and discipline to stop them from using slang for their own benefit.
As to the second question of how the use of corpus methods can contribute to future research on the representation of youth language culture in the South Korean media, it is argued that the current study has sufficiently demonstrated the viability of the application of corpus methods in investigating how the issue of youth and youth language is covered and discussed in the media. In addition to the fact that the media representation of young people and youth language in South Korea is an area of research that is yet to be fully explored, corpus analysis is also yet to be widely employed in studying youth language in South Korea. Kim(2014) introduced in the literature review section shares the current study’s interest in looking at discoursal patterns in the media coverage of the issue. However, the current study can be distinguished from Kim(2014) in terms of its capacity for quantitative data processing and interpretative practice. In Kim(2014), each text is manually examined and coded, and this kind of manual approach does not easily lend itself to analysing quantitative data. In addition, the two texts are hand-picked for further analysis. This kind of selection practice can be influenced by the analyst’s own preconceptions. Subsequently, the interpretation may be predetermined and suffer from circularity of just confirming what the analyst intends to find in the text rather than being ‘inferred from the analysis’(Widdowson, 2004). As shown in the analysis section, the bottom-up approach of corpus analysis such as automatically generating the word frequency list allows data to be approached and analysed while minimizing the analyst’s intervention in choosing what to analyse at the initial stage of analysis and helping to avoid the resulting circularity of interpretation. Moreover, looking at a large amount of data using a corpus and concordancing program makes it possible to discover recurrent linguistic patterns in representing certain social issues and groups in the media. As discussed in the literature review, specially recurrent lexical patterns are formed over a period of time and can be hard to observe intuitively or readily available to the naked eye even though they have the potential to influence and shape our way of looking at the world. Despite the fact that the corpus used for analysis is small-sized, and the analysis only suggests a rough overall picture, it has been able to show that the issue of youth language in the British media is represented mainly in three ways, which can be fine-tuned with more detailed examination of what collocational patterns of individual words are recurrently used to form each discourse pattern using a larger-scale corpus. The field of study of youth culture and language can benefit from diversifying its methodological scope, and the application of corpus analysis can increase analytical and interpretative rigour, while making an original and meaningful contribution to the field.
For future research, firstly, a comparative study of media representation of youth language in South Korea and the UK using larger corpora has already been proposed in order to gain some sense of perspective and balance on our view of young people and their language culture, in comparison with the country considered to have better policies and services for young people, and to fully demonstrate the strength of corpus analysis. Another avenue of research to consider is how young people from families of North Koreans settled in South Korea or from multi-cultural families are viewed in terms of their linguistic identity and experience of adapting to the new language culture in the media. Understanding how our society views and treat these minority groups of young people may help raise public awareness on tolerance and diversity, and develope and implement better policies and programs to educate and foster linguistic integration and understanding among South Korean youths. Lastly, to explore growing potential for diachronic discourse analysis using corpora, it will be interesting and illuminating to investigate how the media representation of young people and our perceptions have changed over the time in South Korea.
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