標題の術語は，特殊な register （使用域，位相）に属する語句を表わす．互いに重なる部分が多いのだが，厳密な定義は難しい．まずは，Williams (203--04) による各用語についての説明を引用しよう．
Cant (related to chant, and originally the whining pleas of beggars) is often used to refer particularly to the language of thieves, gypsies, and such. But it has also been used to refer to the specialized language of any occupation, particularly to the mechanical and mindless repetition of special words and phrases.
Argot (a French word of unknown etymology), usually refers to the secret language of the underworld, though it too has also been used to refer to any specialized occupational vocabulary---the argot of the racetrack, for example. Jargon (once meaning the warbling of birds) is usually used by someone unfamiliar with a particular technical language to characterize his annoyed and puzzled response to it. Thus one man's technical vocabulary is another's jargon. Feature, shift, transfer, artifactual, narrowing, acronym, blend, clip, drift---all these words belong to the vocabulary of semantic change and word formation, the vocabulary of historical linguistics. But for anyone ignorant of the subject and unfamiliar with the terms, such words would make up its jargon. Thus cant, argot, and jargon are words that categorize both by classing and by judging.
Slang (of obscure origin) has many of the same associations. It has often been used as a word to condemn "bad" words that might pollute "good" English---even destroy the mind. . . . / But . . . slang is a technical terms like the terms grammatical and ungrammatical---a neutral term that categorizes a group of novel words and word meanings used in generally casual circumstances by a cohesive group, usually among its members, not necessarily to hide their meanings but to signal their group membership.
Trudgill の用語辞典にエントリーのある，slang, argot, jargon, antilanguage についても解説を引用する．
slang Vocabulary which is associated with very informal or colloquial styles, such as English batty (mad) or ace (excellent). Some items of slang, like ace, may be only temporarily fashionable, and thus come to be associated with particular age-groups in a society. Other slang words and phrases may stay in the language for generation. Formerly slang vocabulary can acquire more formal stylistic status, such as modern French tête (head) from Latin testa (pot) and English bus, originally an abbreviation of omnibus. Slang should not be confused with non-standard dialect. . . . Slang vocabulary in English has a number of different sources, including Angloromani, Shelta and Yiddish, together with devices such as rhyming slang and back slang as well as abbreviation (as in bus) and metaphor, such as hot meaning 'stolen' or 'attractive'.
argot /argou/ A term sometimes used to refer to the kinds of antilanguage whose slang vocabulary is typically associated with criminal groups.
jargon . . . . A non-technical term used of the register associated with a particular activity by outsiders who do not participate in this activity. The use of this term implies that one considers the vocabulary of the register in question to be unnecessarily difficult and obscure. The register of law may be referred to as 'legal jargon' by non-lawyers.
antilanguage A term coined by Michael Halliday to refer to a variety of a language, usually spoken on particular occasions by members of certain relatively powerless or marginal groups in a society, which is intended to be incomprehensible to other speakers of the language or otherwise to exclude them. Examples of groups employing forms of antilanguage include criminals. Exclusivity is maintained through the use of slang vocabulary, sometimes known as argot, not known to other groups, including vocabulary derived from other languages. European examples include the antilanguages Polari and Angloromany.
・ Williams, Joseph M. Origins of the English Language: A Social and Linguistic History. New York: Free P, 1975.
・ Trudgill, Peter. A Glossary of Sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.
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