Swearwords reinterpreted : New variants and uses by young Chinese netizens on social media platforms

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

  • Bin Li
  • Yan Dou
  • Yingting Cui
  • Yuqi Sheng

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381–404
Journal / PublicationPragmatics
Volume30
Issue number3
Online published5 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020

Abstract

Swearwords are common on the Internet nowadays. In addition to traditional forms and functions, new features and uses have been created as disguises and hedges, or even as deviants from insults. Focusing on the ‘new swearwords’ prevalent in Chinese social media, we identified the most commonly used novel swearwords developed and favoured by the young Chinese netizens, and analysed their linguistic features and uses on a Chinese social network site. We discovered that certain swearwords have undergone linguistic transformation to take up new grammatical and pragmatic functions. The invention and prevalence of these new swearwords raise interesting points on the roles played by the Internet and social media in bringing netizens together and in enabling them to create web content in their speech community.

Research Area(s)

  • swearwords, contemporary Chinese, discourse community, semantic change, social media, solidarity

Bibliographic Note

Research Unit(s) information for this publication is provided by the author(s) concerned.

Citation Format(s)

Swearwords reinterpreted : New variants and uses by young Chinese netizens on social media platforms. / Li, Bin; Dou, Yan; Cui, Yingting; Sheng, Yuqi.

In: Pragmatics, Vol. 30, No. 3, 08.2020, p. 381–404.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review