Taboo terms and their grammar

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    Abstract

    Taboo terms are used for far more than verbal abuse and linguistic mayhem. They may serve to strengthen questions and negative statements, they express high degree, and add negative connotations to otherwise neutral words. They may appear as negative polarity items, but also as positive polarity items. The variety of ways in which they may be employed is quite remarkable, and deserves to be studied from a cross-linguistic perspective. This chapter presents an overview of the main uses of taboo terms and the syntactic constructions they give rise to, and illustrates with material taken largely from English and Dutch, but in addition German, Estonian, Polish, and modern Hebrew.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Taboo Words and Language
    EditorsKeith Allan
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Chapter9
    Pages160-179
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Print)978-0-19-880819-0
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov-2018

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