An analysis of students’ slang terms for academic activities in a Nigerian university: A semiotic approach

  • Grace E Adamo


Using a semiotic approach, this article analyses Nigerian university students’ slang terms for academic activities. It inquires into how students in an ESL context are able to exchange meanings with one another using their own form of English. Using a combination of Peirce’s, de Saussure’s and Barthes’ semiotic models of analysis, the research findings present evidence of linguistic change as prescribed by youths. It reveals that slang is one of the ways in which students represent meanings that are important in their socio-cultural environment. It represents the ideology of the youths. These symbols accurately measure the range of their thoughts and values at any given time and they function in the mind of the interpreters to convey specific meanings in specific situations. Slang is therefore a symbolic semiotic system, whose signification can be unveiled.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2013, 31(1): 89–96

Author Biography

Grace E Adamo
Department of English and Literary Studies, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614