College ESL Learners’ Politeness in Using Linguistic Taboos and Euphemisms: Looking Through the Socio-Pragmatic Lens

  •  Ferdinand Bulusan    


Many researches have delved into politeness theory, but few have studied how politeness theory operates within the context of college ESL learners through the use of linguistic taboos and euphemisms. This paper determines the extent of students’ use of and their perceptions about linguistic taboos and euphemisms. It has made use of the sequential-explanatory design. Participants were 313 college ESL learners in a premier state university. Data were gathered by using a questionnaire, focus-group discussion technique, and actual recorded conversations of the informants. In terms of politeness, ESL learners always strive to keep their “positive face” intact. Students perceive that taboo words are bad, masculine, and immoral. Moreover, this study posits that, sometimes, uttering linguistic taboos becomes a way by which people can establish closeness with others. Hence, taboo words may be uttered once in a while depending on the context and setting, such as when interlocutors are friends or have established a short social distance.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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