What are the features of young people’s written and spoken communication? How is youth language situated in the context of multilingualism and language contact? What influence does communication in the new media have on the language use? What are the characteristics of the public discourse about youth language? In the three categories «language use and linguistic skills», «language use and identity», and «youth languages as global and local phenomena» these and other questions are discussed and new research perspectives are revealed. Moreover, the book is not only a documentation of the current state of affairs of German youth language research, but it also gives an insight into international research into the language of young people (in 15 European, American, and African countries altogether).
"Trends and Developments in Youth Language Research"—the title of this book refers to a conference which took place in Boldern near Zurich in February 2005. Following meetings in Leipzig (1992), Heidelberg (1997), Osnabrück (1998) and Wuppertal (2001), the Zurich conference put "theoretical considerations, new empirical results, but also desiderata as well as plans for forthcoming projects" at the centre of discussion, as it had been announced in advance. Indeed, about 90 attendants from 15 different countries were offered an insight into a wide field of current research. At the same time, however, it was evident that numerous questions were still unanswered and that thus—to allude to a phrase from the conference report—, "a lot of holes still have to be drilled".' It is the aim of this book to make the considerations, results and desiderata of the Zurich conference available to a wider public and thus to continue the discussion, which at first could only take place within a small circle of linguists. For this purpose, some of the participants were asked by us—the organizers of the conference—to revise their presentations with regard to a publication. The result is not only a documentation of the current state of affairs of German youth language research, but it also gives an insight into international research. It is particularly this view beyond the borders of the German-speaking area that is one of our main concerns and by including it, we hope to encourage the international discussion about...
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