Anti-Language Definition


Anti-languages, a term created by the linguist MAK Halliday, are a way of communicating within a language that excludes outsiders. An anti-language uses the same grammar and words as the main speech community, but uses them in a different way so that they can only be understood by insiders. Cockney rhyming slang is an example, where words that are familiar to all of the speech community are only understood by 'those in the know', the people who understand their true meaning within the minority speech community. Antilanguages are often used by criminals and people on the fringes of society, who do not want to be understood by everybody.

See Also:

Slang; Jargon


Varieties and Dialects

Related to 'Anti-Language'