ERIC Number: ED381999
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-21
Reference Count: N/A
Cultural Influence on Language Usage---Cases of Taboo: Cross-Cultural Communication between the Peoples of Taiwan, R.O.C. and the U.S.A.
Shen, Yin-Shyan Irene
Taboo or forbidden topics of conversation are compared for Taiwan, the Republic of China, and United States. Emphasis is on the conveyance of conversational conventions in second language teaching. First, the concept of conversational taboos is examined, noting the non-transferability of taboos across cultures and languages. Four kinds of taboos to be addressed in classroom language instruction are examined: (1) phonological-linked examples of inappropriate usage, such as homonyms or expressions forbidden to certain groups within the culture; (2) animal-linked metaphors and inappropriate animal-related vocabulary; (3) comments on physical attributes, age, income, personal matters, and gestures; and (4) subjects for which euphemisms are expected, including some superstitions. It is recommended that such cultural elements be introduced and explained in the second language classroom to promote cultural sensitivity alongside language learning. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: China; Taboos; Taiwan; United States
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (27th, San Antonio, TX, November 20-22, 1993).