Abstract / Description of output
Though research on the multiethnolect spoken in London—Multicultural London English (MLE)—has described the social distribution of the variety, the stylistic potentials of MLE remain poorly understood. This article explores the enregisterment and subsequent ‘recontextualisation’ (Bauman & Briggs 1990) of MLE by analysing the linguistic and aesthetic components of a stylistic identity—the ‘roadman’. Specifically, I explore a corpus of TikTok videos to analyse the ways in which linguistic features characteristic of MLE (e.g. pronominal man, discourse-pragmatic styll, fronted /uː/) are co-opted and stylised in parodic performances of the roadman. I demonstrate that these linguistic features co-occur with tropes of personhood (e.g. participation in grime music, overt heterosexuality, a streetwear aesthetic) that are ideologically associated with a particular type of gendered, classed, and racialized identity. Concluding, I reflect on the status of the roadman persona with reference to contemporary patterns of language variation in the UK.
Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)
- multicultural London English
- digital culture