Speech play, gender play, and the verbal artistry of queer argots

This paper presents a comparative study of argots (or secret varieties) used in communities marked by non-normative gender or sexuality. A comparison of nine argots based in different languages suggests that the development of each of these argots involves large amounts of speech play. A variety of patterns of speech play are analyzed, including cross-language play, play languages, morphological restructuring and innovation, and lexical substitutions within the local language. The importance of speech play in these communities is illustrated with the genre of mock translations in which familiar texts (such as Shakespeare or the Bible) are reproduced using argot. The results suggest that speech play and verbal artistry are important and understudied elements of queer cultures. © 2018, Hrvatsko Filolosko Drustvo. All rights reserved.

This paper presents a comparative study of argots (or secret varieties) used in communities marked by non-normative gender or sexuality. A comparison of nine argots based in different languages suggests that the development of each of these argots involves large amounts of speech play. A variety of patterns of speech play are analyzed, including cross-language play, play languages, morphological restructuring and innovation, and lexical substitutions within the local language. The importance of speech play in these communities is illustrated with the genre of mock translations in which familiar texts (such as Shakespeare or the Bible) are reproduced using argot. The results suggest that speech play and verbal artistry are important and understudied elements of queer cultures. © 2018, Hrvatsko Filolosko Drustvo. All rights reserved.

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