Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

THE LANGUAGE BEHIND Elena Lathrop Sociology, B.A. University of California, Los Angeles INTERNET MEMES.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "THE LANGUAGE BEHIND Elena Lathrop Sociology, B.A. University of California, Los Angeles INTERNET MEMES."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE LANGUAGE BEHIND Elena Lathrop Sociology, B.A. University of California, Los Angeles INTERNET MEMES

2 WHAT IS A MEME? From the Ancient Greek work mimɛma meaning something imitated Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture On the Internet, they take the form of concepts that spread, such as images, videos, hyperlinks, acronyms, or even ironically misspelled words/typos such as teh instead of the or pwn instead of own In this presentation, I will focus on images coupled with text

3 EXAMPLES

4 WHAT TYPES OF LINGUISTIC PHENOMENA DO THESE INTERNET MEMES EXHIBIT? They are extremely productive – there are over 75,000 categories of image memes, with new categories being created daily Category-specific: – Recursion – Garden path sentences – Syntactic structures mimicking child speech

5 THE XZIBIT YO DAWG MEME - RECURSION Also called the Recursive Xzibit meme on some websites

6 THE XZIBIT YO DAWG MEME - RECURSION Clauses can be embedded within sentences to obtain recursion – Theoretically, this can be done infinitely – Ex.: I said that Mary told Suzy that John said […] The Xzibit Yo Dawg meme demonstrates adjunct recursion

7 THE XZIBIT YO DAWG MEME - RECURSION

8

9 THE SUCCESSFUL BLACK MAN MEME – GARDEN PATH SENTENCES Meant to seem racist and stereotypical, until one reads the entire sentence from top to bottom

10 THE SUCCESSFUL BLACK MAN MEME – GARDEN PATH SENTENCES Example: The horse raced past the barn fell. – Upon hearing this sentence, the speaker wants to insert a period after barn, yielding this structure:

11 THE SUCCESSFUL BLACK MAN MEME – GARDEN PATH SENTENCES …but with the word fell at the end of the sentence, The horse raced past the barn is a reduced relative clause (it does not contain a who or that) and the theme of the action fall – Sounds awkward and ungrammatical to most native speakers, but is actually grammatically correct

12 THE SUCCESSFUL BLACK MAN MEME – GARDEN PATH SENTENCES My father left us.

13 THE SUCCESSFUL BLACK MAN MEME – GARDEN PATH SENTENCES My father left us a large estate […]

14 THE Y U NO GUY MEME – CHILD SPEECH

15 Brain, why dont you work?

16 THE Y U NO GUY MEME – CHILD SPEECH Brain, why you no work? English sentence lacking do- support, and therefore no head (T to C) movement

17 THE Y U NO GUY MEME – CHILD SPEECH This resembles the speech of English language learners aged 1-4 (Brown 1968, Bellugi 1971, Stromswold 1990, Guasti & Rizzi 1996) – They tend to leave out auxiliaries such as do, producing auxless questions – They tend to lack subject-auxiliary inversion, especially in negated questions They have no auxiliary to invert in the first place, since it is often omitted – They avoid raising Neg. to T – They lack do-insertion Examples: Where daddy go? What daddy have? – They use no instead of not in negated sentences (Kliman & Bellugi 1966)

18 CONCLUSIONS Internet memes demonstrate recursion, garden path sentences, and child speech in ways that make them humorous and ironic Their syntactic structures are different than those of Standard American English, yet still systematic Native speakers can create new and different ways of speaking their language, yet maintain understanding and productivity Evidence for Chomskys Universal Grammar (UG)


Download ppt "THE LANGUAGE BEHIND Elena Lathrop Sociology, B.A. University of California, Los Angeles INTERNET MEMES."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google