The Variety in the Lexicon of Rap and Gospel

GRIN Verlag
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Seminar paper from the year 2010 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Linguistics, grade: 1,0, University of Wuppertal, course: Varieties of English, language: English, abstract: At first sight, Rap and Gospel music do not seem to have much in common. That is why I attempt to analyze whether there are any similarities or just discrepancies. The topic deals with The Variety in the Lexicon of Rap and Gospel and therefore, the aim of this paper is the linguistic description of the special lexicon. The foundation of this paper is provided by the presentation held on the 13th of July 2010 in the seminar "Varieties of English". I have chosen this topic, because the two styles of music have a similar history, but developed into opposite directions and they are, furthermore, both mostly sung by people of African American descent. Another reason for my choice is that I want to know if the images of Rap and Gospel I have in mind are really true or just prejudices: Are Rap lyrics full of swear words? Is Gospel by some means or other related to Rap? One of the images I have in mind, are the lexicons of Rap and Gospel, because when you listen to two typical song you will clearly hear the differences in speaking and in the choice of words. For my analysis I chose two representative songs: Only God Can Judge Me by the ’gangster rapper’ Tupac Shakur (1971-1996) and Judge Me Not by the baptist preacher Timothy Wright (1947-2009). I will start with a general overview of Rap and Gospel, give a short history of their development, so that the same roots of the styles of music become more obvious. In the following, I will present the results of the analyzed domains of register, commencing with the use of swear words and the application to the five types of linguistic forms of swearwords. Then I will go on with the use of slang, and especially the phonological representation of the features of African American Vernacular English, due to the descent of the two singers. Finally, I will summarize my results in a conclusion at the end of this paper.
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GRIN Verlag
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Jan 27, 2011
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Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Literary Collections / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
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Seminar paper from the year 2010 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,3, University of Wuppertal, course: Romantic Women Writers, language: English, abstract: The issue of slavery can be considered to be of great importance during the 18th and 19th century in Great Britain. Since the 1770s there has been the formation of an abolitionist movement because rational thinkers of the Enlightenment criticized it for violating the rights of man and furthermore for being heresy. In 1790 the first abolition bill was presented to parliament, but it did not pass and it needed another 43 years until the abolition of slavery in the British Territories could be called a success. Especially women started to engage themselves in the abolitionist movement and tried to change the situation with means of sensibility and empathy. Therefore, I chose to analyze two poems by two very popular female anti- slavery writers, Anne Yearsley’s A Poem on the Inhumanity of the Slave- Trade (1788) and Hannah More’s The Sorrows of Yamba or the Negro Woman’s Lamentation (1795) to show the perspective of a woman on slavery. The seminar "Romantic Women Writers" serves as a basis for this paper. I will start with an outlook on the involvement of the two women in the anti- slavery discourse, show briefly what there lives were like, through what they were shaped and influenced and what their reasons were to act against slav- ery. In the main part I will focus on the two poems and compare them with regards to similarities and differences. Both poems tell a story about a slave and his or her life in captivity. There is on the one hand the story of Yamba in Hannah More’s poem and on the other hand the story of Luco in the poem of Ann Yearsley. I chose this as a starting point for my analysis. For that, I will briefly look at the fictional characters Yamba and Luco to find out in how far they either resemble each other or differ from each other. Furthermore, I will analyze how Hannah More and Ann Yearsley use their means of sensibility and empathy and afterwards show the biggest contrasts of the two poems. Finally, I will summarize and evaluate my results in form of a conclusion.
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Seminar paper from the year 2011 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1,3, University of Wuppertal, course: Hauptseminar - New York in American Literature, language: English, abstract: Stephen Crane published his first novel Maggie: A Girl of the Streets in March 1893 on his own expenses under the pseudonym "Johnston Smith". As a young author "who was yet to find a public he was cautious about immediately identifying himself with a work that he himself regarded as shocking" (Ziff x) because it tried "to show that environment is a tremendous thing [...] and frequently shapes lives regardless" (Sorrentino 82). That Maggie is one of the major works to criticize the environment of late 19th century New York City becomes obvious when the reader notices that the protagonist Maggie does neither occur in the first, nor in the last chapter of the novella. Looking more closely at the word "environment" itself one can observe that the term is ambiguous. On the surface the term seems to describe the external living conditions, namely where and under which circumstances the characters live. But it is not the life in the Bowery and the tenements Stephen Crane is referring to since Maggie does not die of starvation or diseases, but of the mental influences, such as the Church and the theater that constantly affect the people. Exactly this environment, Jacob Riis argues, "is indeed a ’tremendous thing in the world’ and it frequently shapes the lives of children who grow up in it" (LaFrance 42). Nevertheless, the external living conditions determine the way people are and act. "Crane depicts the influence the city exerts upon the perception of reality of its inhabitants, and this perception differs very much already from one member of the Johnson family to the other" (Schaetzle 19). This is the reason for me to argue that the bad circumstances in the Bowery of New York City contribute to the decay of the moral values and shape lives, as well. The very title of the 1893 version illustrates that the city is also an important factor in the novella: Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (A Story of New York). [...]
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