Fuck has always been one of the strongest and most controversial taboo words in the English language, considered insulting and unacceptable in formal and polite communicative contexts. Originally a verb, nowadays it has gained more grammatical flexibility, undergoing a conversion to any part of speech and, in its morphological variants (inflectional, derivational and compounded) has acquired the function of emotive stress amplifier, ‘desemantised’ of its original denotative meaning and used with a mainly pragmatic value in different situations. The poster intends to present an outline of our research in progress in various directions. Linguistically, we will map out the etymological and semantic evolution of the word; report the first results of our recent corpus-based study to give evidence of the syntactical and morphological behaviour and the semantic and pragmatic connotations of the key-word; describe the investigation in progress on a corpus of journalistic texts; and, given the paucity of swearing research to date, suggest a list of potential topics for future study. Pedagogically, we will make some remarks on the teaching implications: the easily recordable use of swear words in ordinary communication and its repercussions in terms of differing semantic values raised the question of whether ‘obscene’ language should be introduced in the lexical syllabus and how taboo words should be treated when dealing with authentic materials. A survey in progress among Italian teachers of EFL will be presented and the most significant first outcomes reported. Our aim is to develop some theoretical principles, practical examples of collocations and communicative contexts, and suggest appropriate activities in order to fill a gap in the learners’ vocabulary competence and to favour actual language awareness concerning the use of similar controversial language.

Presentazione di un poster dal titolo “Taboo or not taboo… the case of ‘fuck’” al 24° Convegno Nazionale AIA Challenges for the 21st Century: Dilemmas, Ambiguities, 1-3 ottobre 2009 Università degli Studi “Roma 3” - Roma

CORDISCO, Mikaela;
2010

Abstract

Fuck has always been one of the strongest and most controversial taboo words in the English language, considered insulting and unacceptable in formal and polite communicative contexts. Originally a verb, nowadays it has gained more grammatical flexibility, undergoing a conversion to any part of speech and, in its morphological variants (inflectional, derivational and compounded) has acquired the function of emotive stress amplifier, ‘desemantised’ of its original denotative meaning and used with a mainly pragmatic value in different situations. The poster intends to present an outline of our research in progress in various directions. Linguistically, we will map out the etymological and semantic evolution of the word; report the first results of our recent corpus-based study to give evidence of the syntactical and morphological behaviour and the semantic and pragmatic connotations of the key-word; describe the investigation in progress on a corpus of journalistic texts; and, given the paucity of swearing research to date, suggest a list of potential topics for future study. Pedagogically, we will make some remarks on the teaching implications: the easily recordable use of swear words in ordinary communication and its repercussions in terms of differing semantic values raised the question of whether ‘obscene’ language should be introduced in the lexical syllabus and how taboo words should be treated when dealing with authentic materials. A survey in progress among Italian teachers of EFL will be presented and the most significant first outcomes reported. Our aim is to develop some theoretical principles, practical examples of collocations and communicative contexts, and suggest appropriate activities in order to fill a gap in the learners’ vocabulary competence and to favour actual language awareness concerning the use of similar controversial language.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11386/3025828
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