Language Change in "The Simpsons"?

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Författare: Matilda Hemmingsson; [2012-06-26]

Nyckelord: The Simpsons; language change;

Sammanfattning: Aim: The aim of this study is to examine the possibility of distinguishing a language change in one of our times’ most popular sitcoms, The Simpsons, over a period of twenty years, with a specific focus on the family members, Homer, Bart, Marge and Lisa. Theory: A real-time study of the sitcom The Simpsons will show a language change, and the twenty years of the show’s existence will be adequate time to study the potential change. Potential, as languages constantly are changing, hence the expected change in the speech of the family members. Method: A large corpus, of about 400 instances, of expressions and words was drawn from the first season and the 20th season to compare the seasons as well as the speech of the characters of The Simpson family. The Simpsons on DVD was used for the two seasons under study, thus a realtime study of the two seasons was achieved. Results: As it is not permitted to use swear words on National American television, there has been little or no change when it comes to the use of actual foul language. Also, the expected increase of neologisms was not revealed by the investigation; instead my results indicate a decrease in such expressions. However, a greater political profile of the 20th season compared to the first season is conveyed. There has been little change in sexist and religious language, but the selection of episodes of the 20th season may account for this. Over all, there has also been a slight change towards a harsher tone of language in the 20th season compared to that of the first season.

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