The ecosystem of swearing : How intra- and interpersonal variability sustains the power of offensive language (4/4)

Vendredi 14 Juin 2024, 14:00 to 16:00
Kristy Beers Fägersten (Univ. Södertörn, invitée Labex)
Jonathan Ginzburg (LLF)

LLF – Bât. ODG – 5e étage – Salle du conseil (533)

Kristy Beers Fägersten (Université Södertörn, Suède)
Swearing in English as a second/foreign language

For multilingual speakers, swearing in a first language is perceived to have greater emotional intensity than swearing in languages acquired later in life. For this reason, one’s first language is usually the preferred language for emotional swearing. However, English swear words have been spread worldwide and appropriated by speakers of other languages, such that swearing in English as a second language is a worldwide phenomenon. This seminar presents examples of how the appropriation of English swear words in Sweden has resulted in a two-tier system of swearing, whereby English swear words fulfil distinct pragmatic functions, allowing for a co- existence with their Swedish counterparts. At the same time, their use is at odds with norms of swearing in both the anglophone and native cultures, raising questions about the future of English swear words and their potential to retain their potency, threatening the eco-system of swearing.