Title page for ETD etd-11112011-100404

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Lefler, Jordan
Author's Email Address jlefle1@lsu.edu
URN etd-11112011-100404
Title I Can Has Thesis? A Linguistic Analysis of Lolspeak
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Linguistics (Interdepartmental Program)
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Brody, Mary J. Committee Chair
Hegarty, Michael Committee Member
Oliver, Lisi Committee Member
  • linguistics
  • internet
  • internet dialect
  • lolspeak
  • lolcat
Date of Defense 2011-11-04
Availability unrestricted
Lolspeak, which I characterize as an internet dialect of English that is used in conjunction with images of cats, exhibits distinctive variations and patterns which differ from those of standard English. Lolspeak has influenced other language use and may have a significant impact on the English language, due in part to the internet’s role in the evolution of English (Crystal “Language and the Internet,”


To approach this data, I created a multi-modal discourse transcription technique for analyzing

Lolspeak utterances within the context of their images based on Grounded Theory (Glaser and Strauss “The Discovery of Grounded Theory” 2007:9). I implemented this technique with randomly collected Lolspeak data that I collected from the website www.icanhascheezburger.com. My work has dual future implications in that it could be used to further studies of Lolspeak or other internet dialects/ languages, and the transcription method I have invented could be beneficial to those looking at other forms of

multi-modal discourse.

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