Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Philology. Journalism

ISSN 1817-7115 (Print)
ISSN 2541-898X (Online)

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Speech preferences of modern children: The infl uence of the Internet, foreign languages and cultures

Milehkina Tatyana A., Saratov State University
Baikulova Alla Nikolayevna, Saratov State University

The article analyzes the modern speech of children aged from 2-3 to 14 years and examines how other languages and cultures infl uence it. The research material comprises handwritten and transcribed audio and video recordings of children’s colloquial speech, correspondence of children in the Viber messenger. The material was collected during 2016–2022, its total volume amounts to about 22,000 instances of word usage. The methods used are those of included observation and discursive analysis. The vocabulary of children aged 2-3 to 14 years was shown to be actively supplied with lexical units sourced from the English language and Internet slang. The analysis of oral and written genres (post, stories, battle, live broadcast) created by children within the popular social networks TikTok, Likee, Instagram (2017) allowed us to establish that children typically copy speech patterns and behaviors of popular bloggers. A study of children’s voice and written messages in smartphone messengers Viber, Telegram (2022) revealed the formation of a specifi c vocabulary in children’s speech, including not only Anglicisms and school jargon, but also a telltale sign of Internet communication – the reduction of words to one syllable. Written messages are organized in a specifi c manner, consisting of statements, each of which is presented as a separate post. Various surveys and diff erent types of tasks based on the “reply and send to a friend” pattern are common. Using virtual reality, children strive for self-realization: they sing, act out dialogues with toys, conduct “scientifi c research”, but in the process they use less than perfect, most often foreign, role models. The authors conclude that not only the English language content of the Internet, but also the speech behavior, ideals and values advertised by popular, primarily Western, leaders of the blogosphere, have a signifi cant impact on modern children’s speech.


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