The reaction to swear words. Authors continue that it

The knowledge of swearing, politeness and
rudeness differs in native and non-native speakers (Thomas 1983, cited in Jay,
Janschewitz 2008). According to Dewaele (2004, cited in Jay, Janschewitz 2008)
native language has the highest amount of emotional force of swear words, and
in languages learned later this perceived force gradually diminishes. It
happens notably with learning a non-native language in a context of a classroom
rather than a natural acquisition. He also pointed out that “overall, female
participants gave higher scores than male participants to the perceived power
of swear words”. Jay and Janschewitz (2008) argue that through cultural
experiences we learn what is polite, impolite in different circumstances, and
that we manifest ourselves in culture through our use of and reaction to swear
words. Authors continue that it may also be possible for people to learn to
swear in the instances when we are rewarded, e.g. fluent swearing causes a gain
of respect from our associates. People learn to limit their use of swear words
in the occasions of losing face or being punished, it is caused by a fear of
losing face. Social restrictions also influence swearing; they range from
getting dirty looks to getting a rebuke from higher authority. Non-native
speakers possess an understandment of appropriateness of swearing however they
are less sensitive to “contextual variability” than native speakers. Similarly,
the estimates of offensiveness depend on the time of gaining proficiency in the
non-native language. Dewaele (2004) states that “Other studies
(Gonzalez-Reigosa, 1976; Javier, 1989; Harris, Ayçiçegi & Gleason 2003)
demonstrate that greater anxiety is produced by the presentation of emotional
materials (e.g., taboo words) in the native/first learned language of bilingual
speakers who learned their second language beyond early childhood”. Author
describes studies that show native language speakers reacting with more power
to swear words and taboo words presented in auditory way in their first
language, than in their second, non-native language. Similarly, childhood
reprimands were most psychologically arousing in native language, and had almost
no effects in non-native one. While there is a big amount of contexts in which
swear words and emotion words in the native language are applied and
experienced, the number of the second non-native language contexts is smaller,
the swear words are much less used and not deeply encoded. This strengthens the
semantic representation of emotional vocabulary in the first language, which in
turn results in multiple memory traces. Native language users tend express more
involvement in their native language and detach themselves from the second one,
thus making expressing themselves and perceiving emotions harder in non-native
second (learned later) second language. Dewaele states that language
proficiency, linguistic and cultural background play a crucial role.

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