ERIC Number: ED158610
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Are You Confused about Dirty Words?
Jay, Timothy B.
Disciplines interested in communication have failed to describe adequately the comprehension or production of taboo or dirty words with the result that little is known about the phenomenon. A review of research leads to the assumption that taboo word comprehension and production are the result of some or all of the following elements of the communication context: (1) social and physical setting; (2) speaker-listener relation; (3) topic of discussion; (4) intended meaning of the message; and (5) any grammatical constraints on the message. The model presented here is used to interpret research in which college students rated the likelihood and the offensiveness of particular combinations of speakers, locations and words. Data are presented indicating that dirty word comprehension and production, or degree of offensiveness and frequency of usage as defined here, are dependent on the contextual factors specified above. (Author/AMH)
Descriptors: Cultural Context, English, Expressive Language, Idioms, Interpersonal Relationship, Language Attitudes, Language Research, Language Role, Language Styles, Language Usage, Linguistics, Literature Reviews, Pragmatics, Psychology, Sex Role, Social Behavior, Social Dialects, Social Environment, Sociocultural Patterns, Sociolinguistics, Sociology, Speech Communication, Vocabulary
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communication Context; Obscenity
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Interdisciplinary Conference on Linguistics (4th, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky, April 7-8, 1978)