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In this study, a particular development in language behavior, the use of the -ed suffix from English in both participle and non-participle contexts, is investigated in the domain of the German hip hop community. This morphological-orthographic feature is analyzed from a linguistic and distributional standpoint in a 12.5 million word corpus of German hip hop discussion, revealing its patterns of use over a decade in both contexts within this community, along with supplemental examples from YouTube videos. This corpus analysis is paired with a case study of a discourse event between two forum participants negotiating the use of this form, revealing a surprising streak of linguistic conservatism in the German hip hop community as well as the contested nature of the form's usage. The results of this study demonstrate the need for closer attention to morphological forms in sociolinguistic studies of computer-mediated communication, as such forms can reveal linguistic behavior that would not be evident in spoken language, but which are nevertheless contested and negotiated as linguistic features.


This is the accepted manuscript of an article originally published in Discourse, Context, and Media, available at

This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license



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