Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 15 credits / 22,5 HE credits
Today’s technology is developing at a vast rate giving people new ways to communicate with each other and with people from different cultures. These new forms of communication have also brought about new ways and opportunities for language change; one of the most prominent methods for communication today is the internet. This study focuses on how Swedish gamers who play the massively multiplayer online role playing game called World of Warcraft have borrowed World of Warcraft terminology and spread the loanwords to Swedish adolescents. It does this with the help of contact linguistics and computer mediated discourse which is a linguistic field that focuses on communication through networked computers.
The investigation of this study has been conducted through the help of surveys which have been administered to Swedish adolescents, allowing us to see which World of Warcraft loanwords they know or had heard of, as well as the sources from which the Swedish adolescents have learned the World of Warcraft words. Furthermore, the study will show what words are being borrowed, why some words are more popular than others, and to what extent the World of Warcraft words are actually spreading.
The results of this study indicated that even though the World of Warcraft words are game specific, they were spreading outside of the context of the game to non-gamers. Furthermore, the main source for the World of Warcraft loanwords spreading was that the Swedish adolescents were coming into contact with the words through friends. The results also indicated that some words were more popular than other words and that this could be due to the variation in flexibility in different words. Additionally, each Swedish adolescent only knew a few of the Word of Warcraft loanwords which could be due to the variation of popularity of different words.
World of Warcraft, borrowing, loanwords, slang, language spread, neologism,
youth groups and culture, group isolation, computer mediated discourse.