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Name: Louis Cotgrove

PhD: German

Thesis Title: 

Remixing the Written Language: The Sociolinguistics of Multi-Ethnic Youth Language Online


Thesis Description:

My thesis investigates how community languages and social differences (e.g. gender, ethnicity) appear in the language of young people in online environments. The thesis focuses on language mixing, also called translanguaging, performativity and performancethe linguistic features that characterise the language(s) written by young German-speakers in online environments. To do so, I have created the NottDeuYTSch corpus, a collection of 3.1m YouTube comments written under videos published by popular German-language YouTube channels between 2008 and 2018.

Specifically, the thesis examines how both individual and group identities are performed and regulated by young German-speakers and how these identities are represented and interacted with by the language choices of the speakers.



  • sociolinguistics
  • German
  • identity
  • multilingualism
  • community languages
  • language mixing
  • translanguaging (Garcia and Li 2009)
  • gender
  • ethnicity
  • computer-mediated communication
  • performativity and performance (Butler 1990)
  • conversation analysis
  • YouTube
  • metalinguistic commentary
  • communities of practice (Meyerhoff 2013)
  • quantitative analysis


Supervisors and Institution(s):

Prof. Nicola McLelland (UoN)

Dr. Olivia Walsh (UoN)


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Scholarly / Public Engagement Activities:


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Other Research Interests:

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  • Cotgrove, LA. 2018. ‘The Importance of Linguistic Markers of Identity and Authenticity in German Gangsta Rap’, Journal of Languages, Texts, and Society, 2: 67–98



University email address: agxlc1@nottingham. louis.cotgrove [at]