Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Wiley-Blackwell Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

The Social Origins of Language

By Daniel Dor

Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Preposition Placement in English: A Usage-Based Approach

By Thomas Hoffmann

This is the first study that empirically investigates preposition placement across all clause types. The study compares first-language (British English) and second-language (Kenyan English) data and will therefore appeal to readers interested in world Englishes. Over 100 authentic corpus examples are discussed in the text, which will appeal to those who want to see 'real data'


New from Brill!

ad

Free Access 4 You

Free access to several Brill linguistics journals, such as Journal of Jewish Languages, Language Dynamics and Change, and Brill’s Annual of Afroasiatic Languages and Linguistics.


Academic Paper


Title: Linguistic cleanliness is next to godliness: taboo and purism
Author: Kate Burridge
Email: click here to access email
Homepage: http://www.latrobe.edu.au/linguistics/publications/Burridge.html
Institution: Monash University
Linguistic Field: Applied Linguistics; Sociolinguistics
Abstract: 'This paper explores popular perceptions of language, in particular linguistic prescription. It focuses not on formal acts of censorship such as might be carried out by a language academy, but on the attitudes and activities of ordinary people in, say, letters to newspapers or comments on radio. In these contexts, language users act as self-appointed censors and take it upon themselves to condemn those words and constructions that they feel do not measure up to the standards they perceive should hold sway.
People's concerns about language and the kind of linguistic censorship and puristic activities that accompany them belong to our tabooing behaviour generally. Prescriptive practices are part of the human struggle to control unruly nature – in this case, to define language and to force the reality of ‘the boundless chaos of a living speech’ (as Samuel Johnson put it in his Preface) into neat classificatory systems. As with tabooing practices generally, linguistic purists see a very clear distinction between what is clean and what is dirty – in this case, what is desirable and undesirable in a language. Linguists who challenge these prescriptions are challenging their ‘cherished classifications’. Small wonder there is often such a schism between linguistics and the wider community.

CUP at LINGUIST

This article appears in English Today Vol. 26, Issue 2, which you can read on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



Back
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page