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Evolving Nature of the English Language

Studies in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics


Edited By Robert Kiełtyka and Agnieszka Uberman

This volume presents a collection of interdisciplinary papers pertaining to the most thought-provoking problems in the areas of both theoretical and applied linguistics. The contributors focus on contemporary developments in morphological, semantic and pragmatic theorizing. The contributions are also devoted to various aspects of the methodology of teaching English as well as some intricacies of translation.

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The Analysis of Selected Swearwords: Their Meaning, Use and Functions in Various Contexts (Adam Pluszczyk / Artur Świątek)


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Adam Pluszczyk, Artur Świątek

The Analysis of Selected Swearwords: Their Meaning, Use and Functions in Various Contexts

Abstract: Although the use of swearwords is universal as it occurs in every language and culture, it is usually associated with rudeness, anti-social behaviour, violation of the norms, breaking some rules and inappropriateness in most contexts. However, it is common knowledge that there are a number of swearwords that reflect various meanings depending on their function, for instance expressing anger, annoyance, frustration (swearing which serves as an outlet for strong, negative emotions), insulting, emphatic and phatic communication (as a marker of solidarity and group membership), empathy, and even causing humour (i.e. in verbal humour). Thus, one can state that swearing does not always have to be impolite in all contexts. In fact, in some social groups swearing is not necessarily offensive, but the norm or even positive as it serves as a tool for solidarity (Wilson 2012). That is why the objective of this paper is the analysis of selected swearwords (such as fuck, fucking, bitch, shit, piss). Thus the paper aims at exploring the taboo language in the speech of men and women interacting with each other in order to establish a contextual framework, the reasons for swearing – the functions and the incidence of swearing. We have the intention of focusing on the occurrence of the above-mentioned swearwords in various contexts. Two corpora, BNC (British National Corpus) and COCA (Corpus of Contemporary American English)...

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