Volume 6, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2542-3851
  • E-ISSN: 2542-386X



This paper is an exploration of the variety of French-speaking cats on Twitter. Among the many creative phenomena that the internet has produced, animal-related language varieties, the language used by pets, have been explored as early as the 2000s, yet with a strong and almost exclusive focus on English. I first describe the shared repertoire of lexical, semantic, phonographic, and syntactic features used by French-speaking cats, and show how the simultaneous use of a childlike code and a formal register constructs the sociolinguistic persona of cats as ambivalent animals. I argue that the French variety has become “enregistered” (Squires 2010) insofar as it is perceived and ideologically constructed as a variety of its own while promoting a welcoming culture towards new members. In doing so, cats show that the belonging to a community of practice, notably by drawing on a common repertoire of resources, does not need to be linked with processes of exclusion.

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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