Cursing in America: A psycholinguistic study of dirty - download pdf or read online

By Timothy Jay

This is often the 1st critical and vast exam of yankee cursing from a psycholinguistic-contextual perspective. numerous box reports and various laboratory-based experiments concentrate on the connection among cursing and language acquisitions, anger expresssion, gender stereotypes, semantics, and offensiveness. Censorship, language content material of films, First-Amendment scuffling with phrases, sexual harassment, obscene mobile calls, and cursing at public colleges are analyzed and concerning sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic information. Many tables of word-by-word info offer empirical proof of frequency of incidence, measure of offensiveness, gender of speaker and age of speaker affects on obscene language utilization in the US. A "must" for language reference collections.

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Extra info for Cursing in America: A psycholinguistic study of dirty language in the courts, in the movies, in the schoolyards and on the streets

Example text

What makes the 2-year-old laugh will not give a smile to the 7-year-old. The important point is that using dirty words in various linguistic routines such as name calling, story telling, or joking takes time and experience. Not only is there variation from child to child, but there is also change over the course of intellectual development (McGhee, 1979). McGhee's account of humor development is closely related to the ideas Piaget expressed about cognitive development. One can record the child's first words about the time of the child's first steps, around the age of 12 months.

It should be noted that there are very few long-term studies of language processes, that is, studies which follow a group of children over several years of growth. There are even fewer studies of how children use dirty words. The current puzzle remains: while it is obvious that adults use dirty words at a fairly high rate, we are not sure how they acquired that vocabulary. This chapter will look at both vocabulary growth and the speech acts related to dirty word acquisition. It is divided into three major sections: a lengthy first section on the language of infancy and childhood, a shorter analysis of parental sex talk and the use of dirty language in school settings, and finally two field studies of how children use dirty language in natural settings.

The early words of the child are both egocentric and telegraphic. Egocentric means that the speech primarily is from the point of view of the speaker and not the listener or a broader social public. The young child lives in his/her own world, virtually oblivious to the needs of others. Telegraphic characterizes child speech as short and sweet; like a telegram. Speakers omit prepositions, adverbs, and non-essentials. Telegram-like speech occurs because the child has not developed the cognitive abilities, logic, or memory space large enough to construct sentences like those of adults.

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