The study has been completed at the College of Foreign Languages, University of Danang
LƯƠNG TH H NG CHI
Supervisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. LƯU QUÝ KHƯƠNG
AN INVESTIGATION INTO MORPHOLOGICAL, SEMANTIC AND CULTURAL FEATURES OF SLANG IN ENGLISH HIP HOP SONGS Field Code : The English Language : 60.22.15
Examiner 1: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ngô Đình Phương Examiner 2: H Th Ki u Oanh, Ph. D.
The thesis was be orally defended at the Examining Committee Time: October 2012 Venue: University of Danang
M.A. THESIS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (A SUMMARY)
The origin of the thesis is accessible for the purpose of reference at: - The College of Foreign Languages Library, University of Danang Danang, 2012 - Information Resources Centre, University of Danang
3 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1. RATIONALE Slang is a subject that provokes strong emotions. It is spoken by people in daily speech, and a large number of them can even be found in magazines and literary works. With the development of the society, slang is widely used by more and more people. It is accepted by both upper-classes and lower-classes, and especially college students who tend to use up-to-date words that form a kind of characteristic style of themselves. However, people’s attitude toward slang varies greatly. Some people think that slang cannot be used on formal occasions, for it is spoken by the people of lower classes only and the slang terms are so coarse. Some even think that slang is the rude language, and avoid using it. However, others hold the opposite idea. They think that slang plays an important role in the language because of its fresh, lifelike, humor and adequate expressions. One must admit the undeniable fact that slang is spoken by more and more people. In the modern time, if one is not familiar with slang, he or she could not capture the slang expressions in the movie, fictions and even in their favourite songs and, what is worse, one would make mistakes when they are talking with foreigners. An example will clarify the fact. A guide asks the tourist “Anybody wants to take a leak?” (Does anybody want to go to the restroom?), and, of course, what the guide said would make the tourist surprised. It is an expression of vulgarity. Therefore, one should bear in mind that it is very important to study language in a socio-cultural context; the language has existed in a close contact with culture. From the
4 example one can see that misusing slang would result in misunderstanding in the communication. It can not tell others that one is good at English. It is not thus; moreover it shows that one just has half-back knowledge about slang. Nowadays, more and more hip hop artists tend to use slang to express their feeling. Although the sentences of a certain lyric in the hip hop songs are often shortened and unfinished and sometimes, they are not grammatically correct either, composers try to arrange a group of words correctly so as to get beautiful lyrics. Hip hop songs usually tell us about human activities, violence or social criticism. In those songs, the sentence structures and the choice of words are not really paid attention to. These songs mostly present non-standard English, which tends to be vulgar, lazy in pronunciation and it is often talked about as bad, incorrect and poor English. Most of the words in the lyrics are slang words. However, it is slang that can help composers to verbalize from the bottom of their heart. Two to the one from the one to the three. I like good pussy and I like good trees. Smoke so much weed you wouldn’t believe. And I get more ass than a toilet seat …. (Relax).  There are a number of slang words used in the above song such as pussy ‘a woman as a sexual object’, trees, weed ‘marijuana’, ass ‘buttocks”. Reading or listening to these words, some people who use English as a second or a foreign language may get confused in comprehending the meaning of the song...