Publication details [#4950]

George, K.E.M. 1986. The language of French adolescents. Cognition. International Journey of Cognitive Science 67 (3) : 137–141. 5 pp.
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Article in journal
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French adolescent speech avoids standard usage in a number of ways. It modifies conventional forms by means of suffixation (debilos for debile 'weak') & the type of inversion known as "verlan" (zarbi for bizarre 'bizarre'); it abbreviates freely, to the point of further truncating already shortened words (max for maxi [maximum] 'maximum'); it borrows readily from English in defiance of official recommendations (cool, stoned); & it depends for part of its lexical stock on already existing unconventional usage in the form of criminals' slang. In common with slang it has a "crypto-ludic" character, being at the same time secretive & playful, the latter aiding the former by ensuring a relatively fast turn-over compared to adult speech. Each of these features is illustrated by means of examples, as are the more general characteristics of hyperbole (c'est geant! 'It's great!') & litotes (pas mal 'not bad'). (LLBA, (c) CSA [1987]. All rights reserved)