Slangs as Registers: A study of Academic Slang Register use by Undergraduates

Anjola Robbin

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An extensive body of studies exist on the origin, occurrence, classification, functions as well linguistics and morphological properties of slangs. The focus of this study however is to justify slanguage as a variety of register using Mattiello’s (2008) sociological properties of slangs. This is premised on the fact that slangs can be categorized by its nature and function which can be either speaker or hearer-oriented depending on the activity engaged in. This study therefore reviewed undergraduates’ slangs used to describe academic activities. That is, academic slang register, the motivations for its use and generate a corpus of academic slang register used by undergraduates.The study adopted a quantitative and descriptive research design using a self- designed online questionnaire titled Survey on Academic Slang Register Use by Undergraduates (SASRU) which sought information on the age, institution, slang use, list of academic slang register as well as motivation of use of slangs from 230 undergraduates. Respondents were drawn from 8 higher institutions comprising of 5 federal and 2 private universities, as well as 1 federal college of technology. The data was thereafter subjected to statistical and descriptive analysis. Findings reveal that slanguage is a regular occurrence among undergraduates while engaging in academic activity generating a corpus of academic slang register grouped under academic ability, study habit, study techniques, examination malpractice, absenteeism, enrolment status, moral conduct and other daily in and out of class activities. The motivation for academic slang register amongst undergraduates were found to be social media influence, to generate a sense of comradeship with fellow students and exclude non-students or lecturers. Slanguage is also found to be used in and attempt appeal to emotions, achieve brevity and as a result of youthful exuberance. It is recommended that further studies should document slanguage registers of other student activities ranging from friendship, romance and life style generating a corpus of slanguage registers for these activities. KEYWORDS




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