LINGUIST List 22.4996|
Mon Dec 12 2011
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1. Neal Norrick ,
Swearing and Linguistic Impoliteness in Social Interaction
Message 1: Swearing and Linguistic Impoliteness in Social Interaction
From: Neal Norrick <n.norrickmx.uni-saarland.de>
Subject: Swearing and Linguistic Impoliteness in Social Interaction
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Full Title: Swearing and Linguistic Impoliteness in Social Interaction
Date: 22-Aug-2012 - 24-Aug-2012
Location: Berlin, Germany
Contact Person: Neal Norrick
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >
Web Site: http://www.sociolinguistics-symposium-2012.de
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Call Deadline: 31-Jan-2012
Sociolinguistics Symposium 19
Berlin, 22-24 August 2012
Thematic Session 'Swearing and Linguistic Impoliteness in Social Interaction'
Organizers: Neal R. Norrick, Saarland University and Kristy Beers Fägersten, Södertörn University College
Both swearing and linguistic impoliteness more generally have attracted much attention in recent sociolinguistic research. Swearing is an apparent universal in language communities with wide-ranging significance for traditional sociolinguistic concerns such as individual and group identity, variation, power and solidarity, (im)politeness, second language acquisition, and discourse analysis. Recent publications reflect a growing trend towards investigating sociolinguistic aspects of swearing, including the social history of swearing (McEnery, 2006), variation in swearing (Murphy, 2009; Ljung, 2011), effects of interlocutor variables and context on swearing and subsequent offensiveness (Beers Fägersten, 2007), and pragmatic issues facing research on swearing (Stapleton, 2010). These and related sources reveal context-specific patterns in swear word usage and specific attitudes toward various types of swearing and swear word users. Swearing has been shown to fulfill a range of social and communicative functions, in part because of its taboo (impolite, blasphemous, dirty etc.) nature, but also because swearing expresses strong emotions. Due to its sacrilegious, sexual, scatological implications, swearing serves to signal attitudes, allegiances and group membership, to break the ice in various social settings, or to adumbrate potentially transgressive topics. Its association with emotion links swearing with humor, exclamative constructions, and certain prosodic features like increased volume and tempo. At the same time, swearing can vent frustration, justify relating a personal experience, or express evaluations. Contrary to the view of swearing as a purely negatively evaluated activity, studies show that it often provides a powerful means of establishing and modulating relations and presenting socially approved identities (Baruch and Jenkins, 2006; Stapleton, 2003). Swear words may function as pragmatic markers (Norrick, 2009) and formulaic listening practices, particularly useful during conversational narrative performance (Norrick, 2008). Research has also shown that the social meanings attributed to swearing are both context-dependent and linked to expectations about social categories like age, gender, socioeconomic class and ethnicity (e.g. Bayard and Krishnayya, 2001; Beers Fägersten, forthcoming; Jay and Janschewitz, 2008; McEnery and Xiao, 2004). Like slang and technical jargon, swearing establishes group membership while excluding outsiders; unlike slang and jargon, swearing is generally understood and negatively evaluated by outsiders without really excluding them. Speakers who deploy linguistic units recognized and sanctioned by some or all of their audience must receive some substantial payoff in 'covert prestige', personal satisfaction at a certain kind of identity display, or at least emotional release.
Call for Papers:
A very well attended panel on swearing as a social and linguistic activity at SS 18 in Southampton in 2010 brought together nine scholars from the US and Europe, focusing primarily on English and variation (mainly by speaker age, gender, and native language). It identified specific areas where more research is needed such as:
- Swearing in non-native English-language communication
- Code-switching and the use of English-language swearing within another language
- Swearing as a means of constructing cultural and social identity
- The cultural acquisition of swearing
- Swearing as a marker of solidarity/distance and inclusion/exclusion
- Swearing in specific social contexts
- The relation between swearing and other varieties of linguistic impropriety
We propose to build on this successful panel, seeking to address these research desiderata, but extending the purview to other languages as well as to swearing in second language contexts. The invited scholars represent native English, Italian, and Japanese, as well as bilingual language combinations. Their individual approaches relate swearing and impoliteness to metaphor in political debate; wordplay, conversational risk and verbal humor; forms and functions of swearing in conversational storytelling; swearing and code-switching in bilingual contexts; and corpus study of variation in swearing.
Please send a draft abstract to Neal:
I'd like to coordinate the abstracts beforehand, but you'll have to submit yourself via the conference website:
Panel Title: Swearing and Linguistic Impoliteness in Social Interaction (Session ID: 102)
You'll need to cite the session ID: 102 in your submission.
Baruch, Y. & Jenkins, S. 2006. Swearing at work and permissive leadership culture: When anti-social becomes social and incivility is acceptable. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 28, 492-507.
Bayard, D. & Krishnayya, S. 2001. Gender, expletive use, and context: Male and female expletive use in structured and unstructured conversation among New Zealand university students. Women and Language, 24, 1-15.
Beers Fägersten, K. 2007. A sociolinguistic analysis of swearword offensiveness.Saarland Working Papers in Linguistics (SWPL) 1, 14-37.
Beers Fägersten, K. (forthcoming). Who's swearing now? Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Jay, T. & Janschewitz, K. 2008. The pragmatics of swearing. Journal of Politeness Research 4, 267-288.
Ljung, M. 2011. Swearing: A Cross-Cultural Linguistic Study. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
McEnery, T. 2006. Swearing in English: Bad language, purity and power from 1586 to the present. London: Routledge.
Murphy, B. 2009. 'She's a fucking ticket': The pragmatics of FUCK in Irish English - an age and gender perspective. Corpora, vol. 4, 85-106.
Norrick, N. R. 2008. Using large corpora of conversation to investigate narrative: The case of interjections in conversational storytelling performance. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 13, 438-464.
Norrick, N. R. 2009. Interjections as pragmatic markers. Journal of Pragmatics 41, 866-891.
Stapleton, K. 2003. Gender and swearing: A community practice. Women and Language 26(2), 22.
Stapleton, K. 2010. Swearing. In M. Locher and S.L. Graham (Eds.), The Handbook of Pragmatics, Vol. 9 (Interpersonal Pragmatics), pp. 289-306. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
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