Presentation on theme: "Taboo or Not Taboo? 99420895 鄭珮琳. How can a language be clean/filthy? Whether the language is clean or filthy is in the ear of the listener. A foreign."— Presentation transcript:
Taboo or Not Taboo? 鄭珮琳
How can a language be clean/filthy? Whether the language is clean or filthy is in the ear of the listener. A foreign swear-word is practically inoffensive except to the person who has learned it and knows its social limits.
How can a language be clean/filthy? (Cont.) I pricked my finger when sewing. (clean) My professor is a prick. (dirty)
Taboo Certain words are considered Taboo in some society. They are not used or not in “polite company.” The word Taboo itself is borrowed from Tongan ( 東加語 )
Taboo (Cont.) When an act is taboo, reference to this act may also become taboo. That is, first you are forbidden to do something, then you are forbidden to talk about it.
We are taught not to mention certain words. Forbidden acts or words reflect the particular customs and view of the society. In certain societies, words that have religious connotations are considered profane if used outside of formal religious ceremonies.
We are taught not to mention certain words. (Cont.) Example: In the world of Harry Potter, the evil Voldemort is not to be named, but is referred to as “You-Know-Who.”
We are taught not to mention certain words. (Cont.) Example: It is forbidden to “take the Lord’s name in vain,” and this prohibition also extends to the use of curses. Thus, we have “hell → heck” and “damn → darn.”
Some words were tatoo in America but not in England. Example: women (designates lower or less- refined classes of female human-kind) → lady Example: bloody (considered in the mouths of the lowest classes) → usually printed in the newspapers as ”b____y”
Sex and taboo words Words relating to sex, sex organ make up a set of taboo words of many cultures. Some languages have no native words to mean “sexual intercourse” but have to borrow from neighboring (country) people. In this case, Two or more words or expressions can have the same linguistic meaning, with one acceptable and the others embarrassing.
Sex and taboo words (Cont.) Example: In English, words borrowed from Latin sound “scientific” and therefore appear to be technical and “clean,” whereas native Anglo-Saxon counterparts are taboo.
Sex and taboo words (Cont.) Anglo-Saxon Taboo Words Latinate Acceptable Words cuntvagina cockpenis prickpenis titsmammary gland shitfeces
Sex and taboo words (Cont.) This fact reflects that the vocabulary used by the upper classes was superior to that used by the lower classes. (???) There is no grammatical reason why the word “vagina” is clean whereas “cunt” is dirty, but sociolinguistic reasons.
Euphemisms ( 委婉、含蓄用語 ) The existence of taboo words motivates the creation of euphemisms. A euphemism is a word or phrase that replaces a taboo word to avoid unpleasant subject.
Euphemisms (Cont.) Less acceptable words More acceptable words diepass on / pass away urinatewater the horse squeeze the lemon have intercourseplay cars and garages hide the sausage
Euphemisms (Cont.) These euphemisms show that a word has not only a linguistic denotative meaning but also connotative meaning. In learning a language, children learn which words are taboo words depending on the value system accepted in the family or group in which the child grows up.