2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference

Language & Literature

Creating Languages: A Close Look At Nadsat In A Clockwork Orange By Anthony Burgess
Farah Mahlaoui♦
Dr. Sally Cook, Faculty Mentor

People sometimes create words that they will never use again. The primary purpose for creating these terms - neologisms - is to communicate a context-specific concept. This study examines Anthony Burgess' use of Nadsat - the language he invented for his novel A Clockwork Orange - and analyzes reader's ability to understand invented languages which depends upon decoding contextual clues. In A Clockwork Orange, Nadsat is a form of slang. The novel's invented language successfully communicates without the denotative properties of language. Although Nadsat is not transparent, there is still a narrative necessity to invent these new words in order to communicate new phenomena. This study examines two aspects of the novel: how the use of Nadsat functions in the novel and the contextual clues by which the reader discerns the new words first and then the narrative effects of the author's lexical inventions.

Keywords: Word Formation, Neologisms, Anthony Burgess, Language, Slang, Nadsat, Context, Interpretation

Topic(s):English

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 4-1
Location: VH 1304
Time: 8:15

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♦ Indicates Truman Graduate Student
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