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The relevance of taboo language: an analysis of the indexical values of swearwords
journal contributionposted on 2015-10-02, 10:57 authored by Christine Christie
In this paper I argue that approaching linguistic formulae from an indexical perspective can generate a set of research questions that have the potential to open up the study of (im)politeness phenomena so that it is possible to address the range of meanings a resource might generate in a given culture at a given moment in time. I show some of the regularities that come to light through a mapping of the indexical field of strong swearwords and argue that the evaluative behaviour evident in news reports can provide evidence of the potential meanings that uses of taboo language can generate in contemporary British culture. I also argue that approaching taboo language from a discursive pragmatic perspective, by interrogating the contextual assumptions that are needed to make sense of interpretations of specific uses of swearwords, the active assignment of indexical values to swearwords is brought into view.
- The Arts, English and Drama
- English and Drama
Published inJournal of Pragmatics
Pages152 - 169
CitationCHRISTIE, C., 2013. The relevance of taboo language: an analysis of the indexical values of swearwords. Journal of Pragmatics, 58, pp. 152 - 169.
- VoR (Version of Record)
Publisher statementThis work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
NotesThis item is the accepted version of an article subsequently published in the serial, Journal of Pragmatics [© Elsevier]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2013.06.009