|Course Title||First-Year Seminar: Taboo|
|Times and Days||M 01:15pm-04:00pm
|Room Location||Trotter Hall 315|
|Additional Course Info|| |
Taboo terms vary in topic across language communities: religion, sex, disease and death, and bodily effluents are common, but other topics can appear, often depending on nonlinguistic factors (community size, demographics, and cultural beliefs). Taboo terms also vary in how they are used: exclamations, name-calling, and maledictions are common, but other uses can appear, such as modifiers and predicates. Over time less common uses tend to semantically bleach, so that historical taboo terms can be used without hint of vulgarity or rudeness. These less common uses can fall together with slang in exhibiting linguistic behavior unique within that language, at the word level and the phrase and sentence level, behavior that is telling with respect to linguistic theory. Each student will choose a language other than English to investigate.