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‘Christ fucking shit merde!’ Language preferences for swearing among maximally proficient multilinguals

Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2010) ‘Christ fucking shit merde!’ Language preferences for swearing among maximally proficient multilinguals. Sociolinguistic Studies 4 (3), pp. 595-614. ISSN 1750-8649.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/sols.v4i3.595

Abstract

The present study investigates language preferences for swearing among two groups of multilinguals. The first group consisted of 386 adult multilinguals who filled out the Bilingualism and Emotion web based questionnaire (BEQ, Dewaele and Pavlenko, 2001–2003) and had declared that they were maximally proficient in their L1 and L2 and used both languages constantly. The second group consisted of 20 multilinguals with a similar sociobiographical profile who were interviewed about their language choice for the communication of emotion. A statistical analysis of the quantitative data revealed that despite similar levels of self-perceived proficiency and frequency of use in the L1 and L2, the L1 was used significantly more for swearing and L1 swearwords were perceived to have a stronger emotional resonance. An analysis of the quantitative data from the BEQ and the interview data confirmed the findings of the quantitative analysis while adding rich detail about the difficulties in deciding which language to choose for swearing.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open access to full-text not permitted by publisher
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Swearing, emotional strength, L2 user, intercultural pragmatics
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Dr JM Dewaele
Date Deposited: 09 Jul 2012 07:08
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/4901

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