So very really variable: Social patterning of intensifier use by Newfoundlanders online

James Bulgin, Nicole Elford, Lindsay Harding, Bridget Henley, Suzanne Power, Crystal Walters

Abstract


Previous studies have shown that one of the linguistic tools that individuals use to identify themselves is adjectival intensification (e.g., so cool, very cool, really cool). We assembled and analyzed a corpus of over 3000 intensifiable adjectives (i.e., environments where intensification could occur) extracted from Newfoundland-oriented public internet forums. Statistical analysis of the correlations between intensifier choice social patterning among our speakers led to findings similar to previous studies. So is the most common variant, especially among urban females, while the older variants really and very are favoured in rural areas, especially among males. Conditioning of the less frequent variant fuckin( g) seems to show the persistence of gender distinctions outside urban areas.

Keywords


English language variation, intensifiers, online language use, Newfoundland

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