Presenter Information

Julia HortonFollow

Start Date

11-12-2018 5:45 PM

Description

Euphemization is a common linguistic phenomenon wherein a speaker replaces an offensive or harsh word or phrase with one that is more mild or ambiguous. The words that are euphemized by a speech community, in turn, reveal much about that society’s underlying notions of what is undesirable or worthy of disapproval, namely its notion of the verbal taboo. I want to study the culture of swearing and verbal taboo in the Ozarks and how implicit religious belief systems contribute to the interpretations of words as offensive so that we can better understand how language is used within various dialects to preserve a sense of conversational etiquette. My investigation will take the form of an in-depth ethnographic study, comprised of research on the regional history and background of the Ozarks and the Ozarkian dialect, as well as field research (participant observation, interviews) conducted across the region.

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Dec 11th, 5:45 PM

Euphemization and Representations of the Verbal Taboo in Ozarkian Regional Dialect

Euphemization is a common linguistic phenomenon wherein a speaker replaces an offensive or harsh word or phrase with one that is more mild or ambiguous. The words that are euphemized by a speech community, in turn, reveal much about that society’s underlying notions of what is undesirable or worthy of disapproval, namely its notion of the verbal taboo. I want to study the culture of swearing and verbal taboo in the Ozarks and how implicit religious belief systems contribute to the interpretations of words as offensive so that we can better understand how language is used within various dialects to preserve a sense of conversational etiquette. My investigation will take the form of an in-depth ethnographic study, comprised of research on the regional history and background of the Ozarks and the Ozarkian dialect, as well as field research (participant observation, interviews) conducted across the region.