Wednesday Seminar: Metaphorical dimensions of language purism: From embodiment to discourse

Višnja Čičin-Šain, doctoral fellow from the Department of Literature at University of Oslo, ILOS, will give a talk on metaphorical dimensions of language purism in Croatian, post-Yugoslav context.


What factors influence language attitudes and, in particular, puristic and exclusionary ones? To what extent are metaphors like dirty foreignisms, language contamination, and language cleansing manifestations of deeper underlying conceptual links between the domains of dirtiness and cleanliness, and language attitudes? In a psycholinguistic experimental study, I inquire into the embodied aspects of language purism and investigate the effects of priming to physical dirtiness on the acceptability of foreign linguistic input. I suggest that a dirty prime should render word acceptability more severe by way of linguistically unacceptable is a dirty conceptual link. On the basis of the results, I will argue that puristic emotions are dually grounded. The acceptability of foreign elements is shaped first and foremost by national sentiments and social, contextual concerns, but also by embodiment and embodied metaphorical relations: the domain of dirtiness in the service of symbolic rejection. In this study, the metaphorical dimensions of language purism are explored from the perspective of a Croatian, post-Yugoslav context, reflecting sociolinguistic concerns of that particular linguistic and socio-geographical area.

The lecture is open to all!



Ekaterina Kuzmina
Published June 20, 2018 12:16 PM - Last modified Oct. 15, 2019 3:58 PM