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Hi,

I am working on a Phd. thesis on slang in movies. However, it is pretty difficult to get theoretical information on this area. Could you make some suggestions, please?
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Hi Gabriel, welcome to the Forums,

That sounds very interesting. Do you mean a theory that describes the slangs in movies? (Just curious Emotion: embarrassed)
hi ,I'm working on a similar thesis.Slang in movies from 1950 to 2010.
I'm going to analyze the evolution of slang in teenagers language through the analysis of a film per each decade.
Can we help each other?I haven't find anything yet....it's pretty hard to write a good linguistics analysis...and it's pretty hard to find just one movie each decade that has a lot of slang and has had some importance in teenagers language during those years....
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Could you define "slang"? What types of words are looking at? And what area of linguistics are you interested in? Is this about phonetics/phonology? Syntax? Semantics/pragmatics? Sociolinguistics? Historical linguistics?
uhm...i'm looking at sociolinguistics and historical linguistics areas.....
actually i still don't have a real index and that's the problem,cause i'm not sure what will be easier for me....
I think i need some movie about young people.That would be perfect to analyze youth slang and then compare the changes of slang through the years...
For example...if i analyze Grease and Footlose i can compare the differences between young people of the 70s and the ones of the 80s.
Now..the problem is that I don't have any idea about other movies (same kind of movie) for the 50s,60s,90s and 2000 yet....
Could you help me?Even if you have any idea about the whole project..I mean...if you think there's something wrong in it..please let me know...
edit: I just realized that the first post is from 5 years ago. I guess this doesn't matter by now, but I don't want to erase my entire post...

If this is really a PhD thesis, you should have a supervisor, no? Maybe you should talk to him/her about where to go next. You're going to need to narrow down your area of research considerably more and your supervisor is the best person to see about this. I'm not really familiar with socio stuff, but here are some things that might help:

- First and foremost, define "slang" or you aren't going to get any work done. What do you consider to be slang? If you don't have a definition, then you won't even know what to look for. Do some searching for previous academic work and slang, and select a definition from some other researcher. If you can't find anything like this, then just make up your own definition so tha tyou have something to work with. Again, you should talk to your supervisor about this if you are having trouble finding sources.
- What do you want to prove about slang? Are you interested simply in documenting it? Do you want to show how lexical items move from slang into common usage? Are you interested in the grammatical properties of slang? It doesn't sound like you have a research question in mind, and it's impossible to do a thesis without such a question. (Again, talk to your supervisor if you're stuck on this.)

- Choose a movie genre. You mentioned Footloose and Grease, so maybe you want to stick to musicals.
- Choose a country. Pick American movies, or British movies, etc.
- Choose an age range. Whose slang are you interested in? Teenagers? Young adults? Adults?
- Choose some semantic range for your slang. Are you interested in vulgar words? Words involving money? Sex? Emotion? Music?
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- I have a definition of slang,I did a lot of searching and I found a lot of sources about that.
After defining slang as what it is in linguistic ,stylistic and sociological way,and after defining what slang is not,I'd like to analyse the reasons of its usage.
- I would like to study which is the function of slang in a specific group like teenagers and then how teenslang is changed throught the years and how some words had fallen into disuse and some others had become part of standard English.
-I chose Grease and Footloose not for the genre,but for the presence of adolescents,so every movie about adolescents that had an importance for the generation of those years can be great for my analysis.
-I guess I'm forced to pick American movies,just because there's a wider range of choice than among British ones.
-Age range,teenagers.
-I don't think I want to chose just one semantic range,I mean,teenagers talk about a lot of things,sex,emotions,music,money and vulgar words as well.

Am I a little clearer? Do you have some new advices?Thanks
chiaradf- I have a definition of slang,I did a lot of searching and I found a lot of sources about that.
After defining slang as what it is in linguistic ,stylistic and sociological way,and after defining what slang is not,I'd like to analyse the reasons of its usage.
Out of curiosity, what is your definition?
chiaradf-Age range,teenagers.
You could get more specific here too. Do you want to follow how some specific slang is used by teenagers across generations? Or do you want to follow how some specific teenagers (who later become adults) use slang through their lives?
chiaradf-I don't think I want to chose just one semantic range,I mean,teenagers talk about a lot of things,sex,emotions,music,money and vulgar words as well.
I don't know what kind of a thesis you are working on, but you might find that picking a semantic range is useful. PhD thesis, for example, are usually on extremely specific topics. You'll find that once you being to write, things grow really out of proportion, and the more specifically you define your work the easier it is to write. (You also spend less time getting sidetracked.)
I am writing my BA thesis on African-American slang and my empirical material is movies as well. I am not sure if I've got it right but you all probably do the research of slang development BASED on films. I mean you use films as the way to get information on slang. this is the way I am doing it. If I lived in the States I would probably do the research based on the information given by real African-Americans, not movie characters.
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