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A cheeky investigation: Tracking the semantic change of cheeky from monkeys to wines: Can social media spread linguistic change?

Bailey, Laura R. and Durham, Mercedes 2020. A cheeky investigation: Tracking the semantic change of cheeky from monkeys to wines: Can social media spread linguistic change? English Today 10.1017/S0266078420000073

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Abstract

The present study focuses on the word cheeky which, in the past few decades, has taken on a new meaning (‘mildly illicit’) in addition to, and partly overtaking, its original meaning (‘impudent’). We examine how this semantic change is spreading in different age groups and in different parts of the English-speaking world. As we demonstrate, the newer meaning of cheeky is associated with younger speakers, so we examine whether this correlates with different age groups’ understanding of the new form. Furthermore, in its original sense, c heeky was used more frequently in the United Kingdom than in North America. If the earlier meaning was already marked for North America, how is the newer form understood by speakers there?

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: In Press
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
ISSN: 0266-0784
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 21 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 30 March 2020
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2020 21:46
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/131147

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