LOLspeak for Linguistics Lasses & Lads

Lotsa linguistics lasses and lads like or love LOLspeak. In Australia, two of them did a talk about it, which you can read about or, less literarily, look at and listen to on video:


I can haz speech play: The construction of language and identity in LOLspeak,” Lauren Gawne [pictured here], Jill Vaughan, Canberra Langfest 2011, ALS2011: Australian Linguistics Society Annual Conference: Conference proceedings. The authors write:

LOLspeak is a complex and systematic reimagining of the English language. It is most often associated with the popular, productive and long-lasting internet meme ‘LOLcats’. This style of English is characterised by the simultaneous playful manipulation of multiple levels of language in order to perform an authentic ‘cat’ voice, and serves both as an entertaining in-group practice and as a cultural index which is recruited in the construction of identity…. [We] use Bucholtz and Hall’s (e.g. 2005) interactional and ethnographic approach to linguistic analysis to examine how the speech play strategies used by participants allow for the simultaneous construction of two identities: firstly the identities of the cats that they claim to be speaking for, and secondly their own identity as savvy members of an online community of practice (Jones & Schieffelin 2009).

(Thanks to investigator Steve Pomeroy for bringing this to our attention.)

BONUS: Jordan Lefler’s master’s thesis, Louisiana State University, December 2011: “I Can Has Thesis?: A Linguistic Analysis of LOLspeak.”