Slang in soldiers’ songs of the Great War
During the First World War songs played an extremely important role not only for the morale of the soldiers and as a means of political propaganda, but above all as a source of opinion and distraction. The aim of this article is firstly to present some examples of songs from the Great War, to highlight some of their dominant themes and to analyse their linguistic content with a special emphasis on the use of slang. The next part of the article focuses on the definition of the “argot des poilus”, that is the military jargon of the First World War soldiers, and on its role in the analysed texts. Several books and dictionaries devoted to this subject were published between 1915 and 1919, a time when everything concerning the soldiers and their experiences on the front, including certain aspects of their jargon, as popularised by the songs, was of special importance to the society of that period. This contributed to an in-depth analysis of military slang and to a greater openness towards slang studies in general. The paper also examines the functions of slang and jargon in the texts in question, and shows that two main types of language transfer were possible in this context. On the one hand, through songs or the press, slang words penetrated into the language behind the frontlines, and on the other hand, there are examples of literary creations that enriched the actual military jargon itself.
Copyright (c) 2019 Łukasz Szkopiński
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors are confirming that they are the authors of the submitting article, which will be published (print and online) in journal Linguistica by Znanstvena založba Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani (University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Aškerčeva 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia). Author’s name will be evident in the article in journal. All decisions regarding layout and distribution of the work are in hands of the publisher.
- Authors guarantee that the work is their own original creation and does not infringe any statutory or common-law copyright or any proprietary right of any third party. In case of claims by third parties, authors commit their self to defend the interests of the publisher, and shall cover any potential costs.
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work.