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The Emotional Force of Swearwords and Taboo Words in the Speech of Multilinguals

Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2004) The Emotional Force of Swearwords and Taboo Words in the Speech of Multilinguals. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development 25 (2/3), pp. 204-222. ISSN 0143-4632.

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Abstract

This paper investigates the perception of emotional force of swearwords and taboo words (S-T words) among 1039 multilinguals. It is based on data drawn from a large database collected through a web questionnaire on bilingualism and emotions. t -Tests revealed that the perceived emotional force of S-T words is highest in the L1 and gradually lower in languages learned subsequently. Self-reported L1 attriters were found to judge S-Twords in their L1 to be less powerful than those who are still dominant in their L1. Participants who learned their language(s) in a naturalistic or partly naturalistic context gave higher ratings on emotional force of S-T words in that language than instructed language learners. Self-rated proficiency in a language and frequency of use of language significantly predicted perception of emotional force of S-T words. Age of onset of learning was found to only predict perception of emotional force of S-T words in the L2.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): multilingualism, perception of emotion, swearing
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Barbara Cumbers
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2005
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:32
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/62

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