Anne Storch

in Secret Manipulations

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199768974
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199914425 | DOI:

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In this chapter, the power of the word as a cultural construction is explored. Power as expressed in proverbs but also in stories of the Jukun is dealt with in the chapter's first part, while the second part discusses the political powers of language taboo. Finally, the power of abusive language is demonstrated, whereby inversion in the form of vulgarity works as an instrument of power in a way similar to secrecy. Here, the apparent violation of social norms and taboos by using a specifically manipulated form of language may considerably help strengthen social boundaries insofar as we can equate sacrilege to unmasking, to violating secret boundaries.

Keywords: sacrilege; sacrifice; suicide; proverb; religion; gender; taboo; epithetic language; Buganda; sugar; poison; vulgar language; obscenity; swear-words; insults

Chapter.  14792 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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