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Blistering barnacles! What language do multilinguals Swear in?!

Issue: Vol 5 No. 1 (2004) Estudios de Socioling√ľ√≠stica 5.1 2004

Journal: Sociolinguistic Studies

Subject Areas: Gender Studies Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/sols.v5i1.83

Abstract:

The present contribution focuses on the effects of language dominance / attrition, context of acquisition, age of onset of learning, frequency of general use of a language and sociodemographic variables on self-reported language choice for swearing. The analysis is based on a database to which 1039 multilinguals contributed through a web based questionnaire. Results suggest that, according to the self-reports, swearing happens most frequently in the multilinguals’ dominant language. Mixed instruction, an early start in the learning process, and frequent use of a language all contribute to the choice of that language for swearing. Sociodemographic variables were not found to have any effect. Frequency of language choice for swearing was found to be positively correlated with perceived emotional force of swearwords in that language. Quantitative results based on answers to close-ended questions corresponded to participants’ responses to open-ended questions.

O presente artigo céntrase nos efectos do dominio e perda lingüística, contexto de adquisición, idade de comezo da aprendizaxe, frecuencia de uso xeral da lingua, e mais das variábeis socio-demográficas, sobre as respostas dadas polos propios falantes a propósito das súas escollas de lingua para maldicir. A análise fundaméntase nunha base de datos á que contribuíron 1039 plurilingües, a través dunha enquisa exposta na rede. Os resultados suxiren que, segundo o que din os propios falantes, os xuramentos ocorren con meirande frecuencia na lingua dominante dos plurilingües. Unha instrución mixta, un comezo precoz no proceso de aprendizaxe, e mais o uso frecuente da lingua contribúen á escolla da lingua coa que se xura. Non se atoparon efectos das variábeis socio-demográficas. Atopouse unha correlación positiva entre a frecuencia da escolla de código para maldicir e a forza emocional percibida nos xuramentos nesa lingua. Os resultados cuantitativos baseados en respostas a preguntas con final pechado correspondéronse coas respostas dos participantes a preguntas con final aberto.

Author: Jean-Marc Dewaele

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