Study: Teen Slang Isn't Ruining Language IRL

by ParentCo. January 17, 2016

Think it's obvi that teens are destroying language with all their slang and internet acronyms? JSYK, according to new research, that assumption is old AF.

What I'm trying to say is that new linguistics research in the Publication of the American Dialect Society challenges assumptions about the true impact of teenage slang on language. According to study author Mary Kohn of Kansas State University, "we might be grossly overstating the role of teenagers" in driving sound change. That's because language use evolves over a lifetime, and not just in the teen years. It starts when young kids enter school, keeps changing through the teenage years, and continues to evolve after college when people enter the workforce. The study also found that as a group, teenagers don't actually stand out as a group that changes their language. "Perhaps our stereotypes about how teenagers speak are often based on subgroups of teenagers that stand out to us as most distinct," said Kohn. "We notice the kids who make bold fashion statements, so we also might notice the kids who are making dramatic linguistic changes." Further, Kohn considers that this language change is a positive thing. "All languages, throughout history, change as generations grow up and move through life. As long as there are people who are living and breathing and speaking, we're going to invent new words. We're going to invent new ways of speaking." "Very commonly, people think that teenagers are ruining language because they are texting or using shorthand or slang," Kohn said. "But our language is constantly developing and changing and becoming what it needs to be for the generation who is speaking it. As a linguist, I find this really exciting because it shows me that our language is alive." What about emojis?
Read more at http://pads.dukejournals.org/content/99/1
Source: Kansas State University. "Teenagers' role in language change is overstated, linguistics research finds." via ScienceDaily, 14 January 2016



ParentCo.

Author



Also in Conversations

mom in bed with sick child
How to Keep Kids Healthy This Cold & Flu Season

by Dr. Jeff Andrews

As we head into the upcoming cold and flu season, parents should be mindful of the following best practices to keep their families safe and healthy.

Continue Reading

young girl with horse
The Surprising Way Horses Benefit Kids' Emotional and Social Skills

by ParentCo.

Kids can enjoy so many benefits from being with horses, from confidence and a sense of self-efficacy to assertive and emotional communication skills.

Continue Reading

girl listening to music
Songs for snuggling and singing and falling asleep

by ParentCo.

For the past nine plus years, I've sung this song nearly every night. I suppose I had an average affinity for it as a child.

Continue Reading