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'You taught me language; and my profit on't/Is, I know how to curse': cursing and swearing in foreign language learning

Horan, G; (2013) 'You taught me language; and my profit on't/Is, I know how to curse': cursing and swearing in foreign language learning. Language and Intercultural Communication , 13 (3) 283 - 297. 10.1080/14708477.2013.804533. Green open access

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Abstract

This article will discuss why cursing and swearing, as manifestations of emotional language, should be addressed in foreign language learning (FLL). Psycholinguistic and pragmatic studies have argued that cursing and swearing are a central component of an individual's communicative repertoire, fulfilling a variety of functions, including expressions of surprise, joy, frustration, anger and pain. Sociolinguistic studies not only confirm this but also highlight the taboo nature of these utterances, as well as the complex social and group constraints that dictate their usage. Given the central yet controversial status of cursing and swearing, it is hardly surprising that it is largely ignored in FLL, although strong arguments have been advanced in favour of teaching emotional language, which incorporates swearing. This paper will explore the possibilities for making cursing and swearing part of a foreign language curriculum, particularly for advanced learners, and will assess the role currently played by teaching materials. Given the marginalised function of cursing and swearing, and questions of interlanguage synonymy and equivalences, should the acquisition and understanding of cursing and swearing remain outside formal language learning, or do learners need to be made aware of the possibilities for emotional expression, making appropriate use of vulgar and taboo registers?. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

Type: Article
Title: 'You taught me language; and my profit on't/Is, I know how to curse': cursing and swearing in foreign language learning
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/14708477.2013.804533
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14708477.2013.804533
Language: English
Additional information: © 2013 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. The moral rights of the named author(s) have been asserted.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1403857
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