Non-standard spellings in media texts: The case of German fanzines


Jannis K. Androutsopoulos University of Heidelberg, Bergheimer Str. 100, D-69115 Heidelberg, Germany.


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.