Sources of Expanding of the Youth Jargon in Ukrainian at the Beginning of the XXI Century

Oleksandr Styshov, Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University



The article focuses on one of the important layers of the lexical system of the national Ukrainian language at the beginning of the XXI century, namely the youth jargon neologisms. The recording of the spoken language of young people (schoolchildren, students of vocational schools, university students, cadets, etc.) as well as texts from the Internet and contemporary Ukrainian journalism and fiction served as the material of the present study. The body of newly formed slang words under analysis comprises more than 200 units. The author defines and analyses the main sources of the mentioned units’ enrichment. The most effective among them is the word formation on the basis of specific and borrowed derivative sources. It has been shown that within the analyzed period the youth jargon neologisms are mostly enriched by nouns-neologisms formed, in particular, by means of suffixation, univerbalization, abbreviation, compounding, lexico-semantic derivation or without any affixes at all. Newly formed adjectives, verbs and adverbs, being not numerous in comparison with nouns-sociolects of youth, are coined primarily by suffixation. Another effective source of the youth social dialect enrichment is their direct entry into Ukrainian from foreign languages, such as English, Russian, German, Spanish, French, and Chinese. Among these new borrowings English loan words prevail. Besides, a certain part of the youth neologisms has penetrated into speech of the young people from other jargons, such as computer, sports, automobile jargons. Some new units of the analyzed sociolect have come into use (mainly with a change in semantics) from a less effective source, i.e. a criminal argot.

Key words

youth jargon, sociolect, neologism, word formation, derivation, semantics, argot.

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Stavyczka L. (2005) Argo, zhargon, sleng [Argo, jargon, slang]. Kyiv: Krytyka, 348 p. (in Ukrainian).