A Cool, Awesome, Great Sociolinguistic Analysis of Adjectival ...
A Cool, Awesome, Great Sociolinguistic Analysis of Adjectival Word Choice Presented by Caitlin Arthur Purpose of Study Analyze the adjectival lexical choices of
individuals of different genders, ages and occupations, in formal and informal social situations. Adjectives in question: Cool, sweet, nice, great, and awesome
Background Study So different and pretty cool! Recycling intensifiers in Toronto, Canada by Sali A. Tagliamonte Purpose: Study intensifier usage in apparent time as related to age, gender, and emotionality of
content o Main intensifiers studied were very, really, so and pretty Ex: Im very independent. / Thats really surprising.
Methodology: Randomly sampled quotations of Background Study So different and pretty cool! Recycling intensifiers in Toronto, Canada by Sali A. Tagliamonte
Findings: o Age- Different intensifiers favored by different age groups o Gender- Very and so favored by women o Emotionality- Use of so tied to emotional adjectives especially among women
Hypotheses Gender Women will use a wider variety of adjectives than men. Age
Youth will favor adjectives, cool and sweet while older generations will favor nice, awesome and great. Hypotheses Occupation/Focus of Study
Educators and students of language will use cool and sweet less than those in other fields. Formality of Social Situation Cool and sweet will be favored in informal social situations, while nice, awesome and great will be favored in formal social situations.
Methodology Written survey o Demographic questions o 6 questions simulating formal social situations o 6 questions simulating informal social situations Online survey posted on Facebook
Paper copies distributed to family, friends and colleagues Methodology Question Format Your employer informs you that sales are up 10% this month. You say
"That's ______. a. cool d. awesome b. nice c. sweet
e. great f. other_____________ Findings Overall Pattern
Overall Pattern Gender % Total Responses
Gender Age Occupation/Focus of Study
% Total Responses Occupation/Focus of Study Formality of Social Situation
% Total Responses Formality of Social Situation Conclusions Great is the overall preferred adjective choice Gender
Women do not necessarily use a wider variety of adjectives than men. Age Younger generations use the adjectives cool and sweet more than older generations.
Conclusions Occupation/Focus of Study Educators and students of language use cool and sweet nearly as much as those in other fields. Formality of Social Situation
Cool, sweet and awesome are favored in informal social situations, while nice, and great are favored in formal social situations. Thank you!
Works Cited Tagliamonte, Sali A. "So different and pretty cool! Recycling intensifiers in Toronto, Canada." English Language and Linguistics 12.2 (2008): 361-394. Print.
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