if slang is part of sociolinguistics, can you give me some explanations about why slang is part of sociolinguistics? what is the relation between slang and sociolinguistics? Thank you

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    I'd say slang is a phenomenon that can be studied from a sociolinguistic perspective, rather than saying that it's part of sociolinguistics. Slang can be studied by other linguistic (and probably non-linguistic) subfields too, e.g. morphology. Jun 23, 2018 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


As WavesWashSands points out, slang is a subset of language use, so it can be studied using any of the tools we use to study language in general.

For example, you can study the interesting phonological rules of verlan in French; the morphology of a simplified conjugation paradigm; the syntax of the various crystallized expressions; the semantics of antiphrasis ("wicked", "the shit"); the pragmatics or history or psycholinguistics...

And when you come to ask why people use slang, which people, where, when, and in what ways, and how it's been viewed by others, you're asking sociolinguistic questions.

Note that one difficulty is defining slang in the first place. Is a dialect "slang"? Are written forms used only in texts "slang"? Are crass idioms "slang"? One definition is any language used by a subgroup to "establish identity, exclude outsiders, or both". That net will catch a lot of phenomena.

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