Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

Maria Stehle

Committee Members

Stefanie Ohnesorg, Sarah Eldridge


The rapid and unique development of so-called “Jugendsprachen” (youth languages) in multicultural city spaces across Europe has been documented extensively in the past decade, receiving immense attention from linguists and the general public alike. As with countless other language registers, which from a grammatical standpoint depart from the accepted language norm, such “Jugendsprachen” have met with intense scrutiny and skepticism as to their legitimacy as expressive forms—a condition which is explored in this paper through a media discourse analysis of one such youth language: “Kiezdeutsch” or “hood German”. Spoken primarily in metropolitan areas such as Berlin and Stuttgart, “Kiezdeutsch” suffers a severe image problem: it is often characterized as being a perverted slang, too heavily influenced by Turkish and other languages of Germany’s immigrant community. This paper analyzes these and other media opinions surrounding “Kiezdeutsch”, which seem to propagate themselves independently from those in the field of language research, and evoke a certain inevitable social angst regarding language and culture erosion. Additionally, this paper dissects the popular 2013 comedy-film, Fack ju Göhte, which employs a stylized version of “Kiezdeutsch”, in order to provide insights into apparent attempts to reinterpret “Jugendsprache” and frame youth language as a socially acceptable language register, which carries no implicit danger to language development or cultural norms.

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