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CURSING IN AMERICA

A psycholinguistic study of dirty language in the courts, in the movies, in the schoolyards and on the streets

JAY, Timothy

This is the first serious and extensive examination of American cursing from a psycholinguistic-contextual point of view. Several field studies and numerous laboratory-based experiments focus on the relationship between cursing and language acquisitions, anger expression, gender stereotypes, semantics, and offensiveness. Censorship, language content of motion pictures, First-Amendment fighting words, sexual harassment, obscene phone calls, and cursing at public schools are analyzed and related to sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic data. Many tables of word-by-word data provide empirical evidence of frequency of occurrence, degree of offensiveness, gender of speaker and age of speaker influences on obscene language usage in America. A must for language reference collections. Contents: 1. What are Dirty Words? 2. When Children Use Dirty Words 3. Anger and Dirty Words 4. The Frequency of Dirty Word Usage 5. The Offensiveness of Words: Sex and Semantics 6. Free Speech and Censorship 7. Unfinished Business and Future Research with Dirty Words Bibliography.

1992 – 274 Pages

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