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Title: Dialogue, linguistic hinges and semantic barriers : social psychological uses and functions of a vulgar term
Authors: Sammut, Gordon
Clark, Marilyn
Darmanin Kissaun, Greta
Keywords: Vulgarity -- Social aspects -- Malta
Semantics -- Psychological aspects -- Malta
Social representations -- Malta
Group identity -- Malta
Social interaction -- Malta
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Sammut, G., Clark, M., & Darmanin Kissaun, G. (2013). Dialogue, linguistic hinges and semantic barriers: social psychological uses and functions of a vulgar term. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 44(3), 326-346.
Abstract: The present paper reports a study of conversational acts in dialogical interaction. Conversation in which the use of a vulgar term [a la bieb z.obbi] in the Maltese language was used was recorded and analysed for the present purpose. The term is demonstrated to serve social psychological functions. We documented three modes governing its use in conversation, that is, (a) as a personality descriptor, (b) as a strategy for shutting down an alternative view, and (c) as a strategy for shifting dialogue to more neutral and less threatening grounds for the subject. We further document a number of modalities that govern justifications for using the vulgar term in conversation. We argue that the use of vulgarity can serve to achieve semantic barriers in dialogue and that these apply to internal conversations as much as they do to dialogical engagement with another. We further argue that semantic barriers can be overcome in ways that shift conversation to less threatening grounds.
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - FacSoWCri

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