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Keywords:

  • Sociolinguistics;
  • orthography;
  • media discourse;
  • youth media;
  • German

Based on an investigation of spellings in German punk fanzines (a blend of ‘fan’+‘(maga)zine’), this paper sketches a framework for the analysis of non-standard spellings in media texts. The analysis distinguishes between a number of spelling types, which include both representations of spoken language and purely graphemic modifications, and three patterns of spelling usage: spellings as a part of the text's regular features, spelling choices as contextualization cues, and as cues of subcultural positioning. By examining the relations between types and usages of non-standard spellings, the paper demonstrates how young writers creatively use the graphemic resources of their language in order to communicate sociocultural meanings, at the same time constructing an orthographic anti-standard in the restricted field of music-related subcultural discourse.