Linguistic creativity in American prison settings

Alicja Dziedzic-Rawska

Abstract


Prison facilities are special: they are complexes defined by a variety of parameters, whose understanding for an ordinary person is far from perfect. It may be observed that two main cultures clash in prisons: that of jailers and that of inmates. Both groups have different rules of conduct, which results in many misunderstandings and new norms of behaviour created on a daily basis. This, in turn, gives way to a constant creation of unique vocabulary specific to the institution, its inhabitants and employees. It may be said that under such conditions prison language thrives: prison slang is extremely changeable and adapts itself to the current needs of the facility. Thus, the level of linguistic creativity is tremendously high: prisoners base their vocabulary loosely on similarities between animate and inanimate beings, which leads to the development of highly figurative language. The research undertaken here focuses on linguistic creativity in American prison settings, and by doing so, draws attention to the originality and unconventionality of prison slang.


Keywords


: prison slang, linguistic creativity, metaphor, blend

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17951/lsmll.2016.40.1.81
Data publikacji: 2016-07-27 14:57:59
Data złożenia artykułu: 2016-03-25 22:21:59

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