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Unformatted text preview: reasons to believe that swearing is linguistically important:
– Swearing and acquisition – Swearing and the brain – Swearing and the grammar – Swearing and the culture Swearing and Acquisition
• ‘Taboo words’ are words’ acquired early in first language acquisition. • Also, in second language learning. • Second language learners remember taboo words better than other kinds of words. • Why? • Sociolinguistically, the study of Sociolinguistically, swearing and word taboos provides a window into culture… culture…
INDV101 – Fall 2007 INDV101 – Fall 2007 Swearing and the Brain
• “Swearing is frequently one of the small set of speech functions (automatic speech) selectively preserved in the severely aphasic patient “Swear words and phrases are produced with normal articulation and prosody, in stark contrast to the remaining speech and language disability” disability” (Van Lancker and Cummings, 1999:84) Swearing and the Brain
• Other diseases and conditions that (sometimes) selectively affect swearing • Tourette’s syndrome Tourette’ • Certain traumatic brain injuries • Paraplegia • Epilepsy • Some dementias • Klazomania (compulsive shouting) • Sydenham’s chorea Sydenham’ • • INDV101 – Fall 2007 INDV101 – Fall 2007 3 Swearing and the Grammar
• Taboo words sometimes provide crucial evidence for linguistic structures, or themselves show unique grammatical constraints “f***ing infixation” – evidence f***ing infixation” for word-internal rhythmic wordstructure...
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