WHAT IS OBSCENE LANGUAGE?

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WHAT IS OBSCENE LANGUAGE?
Below is a link to a clip on YouTube from a Canadian movie, “Bon Cop, Bad Cop”. You
can also watch this clip directly in the online version of the questions.

A clearer version, but subtitled in English for French speakers:

Linguistics 1, Online Quiz #10 8
In this scene there are examples of swearing in the French dialect of Québec Province.
You will need to look at the transcript to understand this. I did, and my French is usually
serviceable! The transcript, which gives the background to the clip, is attached to the end
of this pdf file.
Compare the literal translations of the Québecois swearing in the second column from the
right on the transcript to the English free “translations” in the right hand column.
Presumably the creators of the subtitles were attempting to replicate the force of the
French expressions had the speaker been using English.
SELECT THE BEST STATEMENT CONCERNING THE SWEARING IN THIS
VIDEO.
a. The offensive words in the respective languages contain sounds and combinations of
sounds that seem harsh or agressive to the speakers of those languages.
b. The meanings of the words used in the respective languages are inherently shocking or
offensive.
c. The Québec French words probably sound like French words referring to sex and
therefore can be used in place of those words, since French speakers will know the
“hidden” references.
d. French (being a “daughter” of Latin), uses words that descend from Latin (like hostie,
calice) for swearing, whereas English uses native English words for swearing.
e. Culture determines that certain topics and words related to those topics are taboo or
sacred; swearing draws on those topics and words for offensive or shocking speech.

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