A linguistic analysis of University of Zambia students' sociolet
MetadataShow full item record
This study is a linguistic analysis of University of Zambia (UNZA) students’ sociolect. The aim of the study is to analyse the linguistic characteristics of UNZA students’ sociolect and how in turn with this sociolect, students construct various social identities as they express group solidarity. The specific objectives are to: identify and compile the lexical items of the sociolect; explore the etymologies of the lexical items of the sociolect; establish the lexicalisation processes in the sociolect; explore the meanings of the lexical items of the sociolect; and determine how UNZA students use the sociolect to construct diverse social identities as they express group solidarity. The study was conducted using a qualitative research approach informed by a descriptive survey design that guided the process of data collection and analysis. The study used document analysis, checklists, direct observations, unstructured interviews, recording and photographing to collect data. Thereafter, data were analysed using an eclectic analytical approach that included lexicalisation, recontextualisation and resemiotisation. The study was theoretically informed by interactional sociolinguistics, poststructural approach and positioning theory. The research findings revealed that lexical items of UNZA students’ sociolect present themselves as nouns, verbs, adjectives and phrases. These lexical items mainly comprise borrowed lexical items from different languages, that is, English, Bemba and Nyanja. Some of the borrowed lexical items have further undergone semantic, morphological, phonological or morpho-phonological manipulations through diverse lexicalisation processes to create new and unique lexical items that assume new structures and semantic content. Such lexicalisation processes include semantic expansion, truncation, hybridisation, syllable alteration, dummy affixation, compounding, inversion, borrowing and coinage. The lexical items are sourced from different languages as linguistic resources primarily based on their meaning in their source languages. These linguistic resources combine with other available semiotic resources in different specific social contexts to effectively create new meanings of the lexical items in UNZA students’ sociolect. Further, the study revealed that UNZA students generally construct the available social identities in their sociolect as imposed identities based on age, gender, their year of study, individual physiological make up, social relationships, socio-economic class, roles and actions. Based on these findings, the study concluded that UNZA students’ sociolect is a unique variety of language as it is creative in nature and that it performs several social functions. Thus, from these drawn conclusions the study also recommended detailed comparative studies on UNZA students’ sociolect with other developed speech varieties in other higher learning institutions and detailed studies on the diverse societal topics that are reflected in UNZA students’ sociolect.
The University of Zambia