This paper discusses stylisations of chavspeak, the supposed language of the chav, a recently emergent and explicitly stereotyped figure that has been implicated in the demonization of the working class (Jones 2011). It argues that stylisations of chavspeak draw on a number of well-established stereotypes of non-standard Englishes in the British Isles, such that, rather than working as a representation of actual sociolinguistic innovation, chavspeak stylisations can primarily be seen as combinations of well-recognised stereotypes. The suggestion is made that, in terms of providing a representation of variation at the first order of indexicality, the enregisterment of chavspeak is highly fragmented a form from here and a form from there but in terms of ideological force intensifying sociolinguistic class stereotypes in accordance with the more general stereotype of the chav there is a coherence. The intended humour of the stylisations is discussed as a feature that reinforces this ideological force, and the inclusion of stereotyped features of black Englishes is discussed as a possible emergent tendency in language ideologies in the British Isles.
- lang- uage ideology