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Polish and Russian in German Rap: A corpus study on language contact and social semantics


Tikhonov, Aleksej (2023). Polish and Russian in German Rap: A corpus study on language contact and social semantics. In: Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, Barbara; Trojszczak, Marcin. Language in Educational and Cultural Perspectives. Cham: Springer, 317-340.

Abstract

According to public opinion, multilingual diversity in German rap music (Deutschrap) has been marginalised since the 1990s (Caglar, 1998). Recently, rap has become a frequent topic of discussion in the media, mainly due to the high streaming and sales statistics of the genre. Above all, the German-Ukrainian-Russian rapper Capital Bra has drawn much attention to rap in Germany after making 13 number one chart hits in 12 months. While the public and scientific discourses on Deutschrap are dominated mainly by topics such as financial success, drugs, and sexism, the research on the diversity of languages, the political and religious aspects, as well as the identity-creating function of these songs has yet to be conducted. This paper will specifically deal with the lyrics of 507 songs by both male and female German rappers with Polish and Russian language backgrounds. The study statistically evaluates the languages used in the lyrics to determine the language contact tendencies. With corpus linguistics methods, this study also explores questions about how Germany, the respective countries of origin, and the concept of the homeland are connotated in the songs. In addition, a statistical experiment contrasts the lyrics’ stylistics and measures the linguistic distance between the musicians’ songs.

Abstract

According to public opinion, multilingual diversity in German rap music (Deutschrap) has been marginalised since the 1990s (Caglar, 1998). Recently, rap has become a frequent topic of discussion in the media, mainly due to the high streaming and sales statistics of the genre. Above all, the German-Ukrainian-Russian rapper Capital Bra has drawn much attention to rap in Germany after making 13 number one chart hits in 12 months. While the public and scientific discourses on Deutschrap are dominated mainly by topics such as financial success, drugs, and sexism, the research on the diversity of languages, the political and religious aspects, as well as the identity-creating function of these songs has yet to be conducted. This paper will specifically deal with the lyrics of 507 songs by both male and female German rappers with Polish and Russian language backgrounds. The study statistically evaluates the languages used in the lyrics to determine the language contact tendencies. With corpus linguistics methods, this study also explores questions about how Germany, the respective countries of origin, and the concept of the homeland are connotated in the songs. In addition, a statistical experiment contrasts the lyrics’ stylistics and measures the linguistic distance between the musicians’ songs.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Slavonic Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:410 Linguistics
490 Other languages
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Education
Social Sciences & Humanities > Language and Linguistics
Social Sciences & Humanities > Linguistics and Language
Language:English
Date:27 October 2023
Deposited On:22 Nov 2023 13:39
Last Modified:27 Jun 2024 03:39
Publisher:Springer
Series Name:Second language learning and teaching
Number:1
ISSN:2193-7648
ISBN:978-3-031-38777-7
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-38778-4_16