Linguist Explains Doge Meme Grammar (via @thetoast)

This popped around in my social media feeds enough that I finally read it, and I do love a good analysis of evolving grammar. It even includes a tumblr-sourced translation of Romeo and Juliet:

But what really interests me as a linguist is that doge speak is recognizably doge even when it’s not on an image at all. Let’s take a look at a particularly brilliant example from tumblr, although there are many shorter ones (check out this twitter or this subreddit):

What light. So breaks. Such east. Very sun. Wow, Juliet. What Romeo. Such why. Very rose. Still rose. Very balcony. Such climb. Much love. So Propose. Wow, marriage. Very Tybalt. Much stab. What do? Such exile. Very Mantua. Much sad. So, priest? Much sleeping. Wow, tomb. Such poison. What dagger. Very dead. Wow, end.

If you are interested in language (and you should be, writer!), then this kind of analysis should whet your appetite for more:

The first factor is the kind of “baby talk” that we do towards our pets, known in the literature as pet-directed speech (yes, there are actual studies on this). It tends to involve speaking with exaggerated pitch and using simplified sentence structure. By comparison, the “baby talk” that we do towards actual children involves these two factors plus extra-precise articulation of sounds and is known as infant-directed speech (formerly motherese until some genius realized that it’s not only mothers who talk to babies).

The thing, of course, is that there is a grammar to the ungrammatical speech-that-is-Doge.

Read the whole thing here: http://the-toast.net/2014/02/06/linguist-explains-grammar-doge-wow/