International Journal of Slang Studies

ISSN: 2286-3893

ISSN-L: 2286-3893


Online peer-reviewed JournalARGOTICA, No 1(7)/2018
ISSN: 2286-3893

The Slang of Music and Musicians

Every art, every science has a vocabulary of its own, and music is no exception. Its univer-sal nature explains why many of its terms belong to a lexicon common to many languages. If some of these languages have been great providers of borrowings, such as German, Ital-ian (10% of French Italianisms come from the lexicon of music (MARGARITO 2005)) and now English, all of them have also shaped their own musical vocabulary. Shared by some in a transparent way, but made opaque for others, the slang of music and musicians, as one could term it (or jargot as it has too been called (SOURDOT 1991) so as to highlight the porous nature of the borders between slang and the technolect native to the musical pro-fessions) has been relatively little studied and even less recorded systematically, apart from GOUGET (1892), BOUCHAUX, JUTEAU and ROUSSIN (1992) or LEVET (1992 and 2006).
A wide range of approaches is possible to examine of this particular lexical field and mul-tiple research areas are pertinent, due to its interdisciplinarity. This issue of Argotica in-vites contributions from musicologists, as well as from literary scholars, from researchers in the humanities in general, as well as from specialists of linguistics interested in this subject.
For example, among many other possible areas of investigations, proposals could address any of the following topics or issues (please note that the list is by no means exhaustive):

- the study of semantic and / or formal processes that are particularly productive in the creation of the slang of music;
- to distinguish, within the slang of music, lexical subcategories specific to particular mu-sical domains;
- to examine how the words of music have fed into popular expressions and have in-formed and fertilized the vocabulary of other domains or specialisms;
- to study the place and role of the slang of music within language practices, for example by assessing the function of slang (identity, cryptic, etc.) in the musical environment, both in terms of its production (among professionals, students, music lovers) and at the recep-tion level (with fans, critics and musicologists). It would be interesting to ask to what ex-tent the slang of music participates in the construction of an individual or collective ethos and helps to pose or to exceed the borders circumscribing "musical territories" (type of music, group, etc.).
- an analysis of the role of musical slang in the emergence of a theory or musical current would also usefully illuminate the history of music and its evolution;
- to study and analyse in French, Francophone or any other literature how and to what end authors nourish their texts with borrowings taken from the slang of music (isotopias and lexical fields, literary postures, staging or scenography of the musician). Some literary ne-ologisms, such as Boris Vian's famous biglemoi and pianocktail, could also be interesting to research.


DELAPLACE, Denis, « Les mots des groupes dans les recueils d'argot », Langage et sociétés, n° 92, 2002, p. 5-24.
BOUCHAUX, Alain, Madeleine JUTEAU & Didier ROUSSIN, L'argot des musiciens, Paris, Édi-tions Climats, 1992.
COLIN, Jean-Paul, Jean-Pierre MEVEL & Christian LECLERE, Dictionnaire de l'argot et du fran-çais populaire [Dictionnaire de l'argot, 1990], Paris, Larousse, 2010.
GOUGET, Émile, L'argot musical : curiosités anecdotiques et philologiques, Paris, Fischbacher, 1892.
GUIRAUD, Pierre, Dictionnaire érotique, Paris, Payot [1978], 2006.
LEVET, Jean-Paul, Talkin' that talk. Le langage du blues, du jazz et du rap, [rééd. augmentée de Talkin' that talk. La langue du blues et du jazz, Paris, Hatier, 1992), Paris, Outre mesure, 2006.
MARGARITO, Mariagrazia, « Les italianismes de la langue française illustrés par l'exemple lexicographique : notes pour une quête identitaire », in Mickaela HEINZ (éd.), L'exemple lexicographique dans les dictionnaires français contemporains, Tübingen, Max Niemeyer Ver-lag, 2005, p. 359-368.
NORMAND, Philippe, Dictionnaire des mots des flics et des voyous, Paris, Balland, 2010.
PIERRON, Agnès, Dictionnaire des mots du sexe, Paris, Balland, 2010.
SCHAPIRO, Nat & Nat NENTOFF, Écoutez-moi ça ! (trad. fr. de Hear me talkin' to ya, [1955]), Par-is, Buchet Chastel, 2015 [1956].
SOURDOT, Marc, « Argot, jargon, jargot », Langue française, 90, 1991, p. 13-27.

Dates and deadlines:

- 15th May 2018: proposal to be sent to the editors
- 30th June 2018: selection and response to the authors
- 15th September 2018:articles to be sentn
- 31th October 2018: final deadline for changes
- January, 2019: online publication

Proposals should indicate:

- Author's Name
- Institution
- Title
- Abstract (200-250 words)
- 3-5 keywords
- Short Bibliography (five titles)

Contacts for sending proposals:

Hugues Galli Issue editor (for the proposals in French):

Laurentiu BALA (for proposals in Romanian, Italian, Spanish and English):

Journal web site: <http://cis01.central.ucv.ro/litere/argotica/Argotica_En.html>