The lexicon of offensive emotional language is made up of multifunctional pragmatic words (swearwords, taboo words) which assume various discourse functions: particularly, in their contribution to the structuring of verbal exchanges, they acquire a pragmatic value similar to discourse markers and can work as a device employed to affirm in-group membership and establish boundaries and social norms for language use. The use and the perception of swearwords vary both diaphasically (i.e. stylistic variation) and diatopically (i.e. geographical variation) and have been extensively studied. In the present study a sample corpus of articles from the 2006 online version of The Guardian has been examined in order to carry out a quantitative and qualitative data-driven analysis with the aim of testing the hypothesis that even in British quality newspapers the taboo word ‘par excellence’, ‘fuck’, in its conceptual and associative meanings, is becoming ‘acceptable’ and ‘accepted’. The qualitative resulting data show that ‘fuck’ is used only in interviews, direct quotations or instances of reported speech, the authors not employing it when writing their own words; new contexts of use are noticed and new forms of the word are recorded.

"One word for different wor(l)ds. Evolution of a taboo word. 'Fuck' in on-line British newspapers

CORDISCO, Mikaela;
2010

Abstract

The lexicon of offensive emotional language is made up of multifunctional pragmatic words (swearwords, taboo words) which assume various discourse functions: particularly, in their contribution to the structuring of verbal exchanges, they acquire a pragmatic value similar to discourse markers and can work as a device employed to affirm in-group membership and establish boundaries and social norms for language use. The use and the perception of swearwords vary both diaphasically (i.e. stylistic variation) and diatopically (i.e. geographical variation) and have been extensively studied. In the present study a sample corpus of articles from the 2006 online version of The Guardian has been examined in order to carry out a quantitative and qualitative data-driven analysis with the aim of testing the hypothesis that even in British quality newspapers the taboo word ‘par excellence’, ‘fuck’, in its conceptual and associative meanings, is becoming ‘acceptable’ and ‘accepted’. The qualitative resulting data show that ‘fuck’ is used only in interviews, direct quotations or instances of reported speech, the authors not employing it when writing their own words; new contexts of use are noticed and new forms of the word are recorded.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/3121852
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