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Conference Information

Full Title: Cognitive Perspectives on Linguistic Taboo

Location: Northumbria, United Kingdom
Start Date: 20-Jul-2015 - 25-Jul-2015
Contact: Andrea Pizarro Pedraza
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: We propose this theme session for ICLC 13 (Northumbria, July 2015). It aims to bring together researchers working on topics related to linguistic taboo (euphemism, dysphemism, taboo words, etc.) from a Cognitive Linguistics perspective.

In recent years, a number of contributions have underlined the social and the cognitive nature of taboo phenomena (Casas Gómez, 2009; Crespo Fernández, 2008; Chamizo Domínguez, 2004, 2009). This has led to a renewed interest in defining and theorizing about the domain’s core concepts (interdiction, taboo, euphemism, dysphemism, etc.). We believe that bringing together the scattered voices would contribute to the coherence and cohesion of the field. Likewise, it will breathe air into this new generation of studies of linguistic taboo.

We advocate for a maximalist theory of meaning, as is usual in Cognitive Linguistics (Cuyckens et al., 2009; Geeraerts; 2006). Specifically, we aim at reflecting on a new, non-essencialist framework for linguistic taboo and related phenomena that takes into account its social and cognitive facets. We ask contributors to support their theoretical reflections with empirical analyses of written or spoken data (synchronic or diachronic, but preferably quantitative and multifactorial).

We encourage papers on the following topics:

- Linguistic taboo and prototype theory: at the semasiological level, what constitutes a taboo category? How taboo (or how central) are certain taboo concepts/words? At the onomasiological level, how fuzzy are the limits of taboo categories? How salient are the expressions for a certain taboo concept? (see Geeraerts et al., 1994)

- Embodiment and Cultural Conceptualisation of Taboo: What is the role of embodiment in the conceptualisation of certain taboos (sex, physiology, illness)? How do cultural models of the body affect linguistic taboo? How do taboos vary among cultural groups and what role do they play? (see Lakoff, 1987; Sharifian, 2011; etc.)

- Construal of taboo concepts (Cognitive Metaphor, Cognitive Metonymy, vagueness…): What linguistic mechanisms participate in the expression of taboo concepts? How productive are they in the expression of taboo concepts? What source domains are more frequent? Are some taboo concepts more prone to be construed through metaphor/metonymy? (see Allan y Burridge, 1991; Crespo Fernández, 2008; Lakoff & Johnson, 2013; etc.)

- Cognitive Sociolinguistics of Linguistic Taboo: what external factors affect the variation of taboo concepts? How do linguistic and external factors interfere in the variation of taboo concepts? Can traditional assumptions on the use of taboo be confirmed (preferences of men vs. women, young vs. old, etc.)? Are there patterns of variation? (see Geeraerts, et al., 2010; Kristiansen & Dirven, 2008; Pizarro Pedraza, 2013).

- Cognitive Pragmatics and Linguistic Taboo: What elements of the pragmatic situation affect the production/reception of taboo concepts? What functions does taboo have in interpersonal communication? How is taboo related to pragmatic competence? (see Jay, 2000; Jay & Janshewitz, 2008)

- Methodologies: Can Cognitive Linguistics’ methods be applied to the study of linguistic taboo? What are the problems of working with available corpora? From a Cognitive Sociolinguistic perspective, how to deal with taboo data collection? How to deal with ethics? What are the problems of setting up an experiment about taboo topics?
Linguistic Subfield: Cognitive Science; Pragmatics; Psycholinguistics; Semantics; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 25.3391

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