Abstract

Abstract:

This article describes an avoidance register of Datooga, a Nilotic language of Tanzania. Datooga women show respect to their senior in-laws by avoiding not only these in-laws’ names but also lexically related and similar-sounding words. Near-homophone avoidance is partly determined by phonological criteria but also by idiosyncratic metalinguistic judgments and social convention. To avoid taboo words, women have developed a conventionalized avoidance vocabulary, assembled by means of various linguistic strategies, including consonant replacement, borrowing, and derivation. Avoidance words make use of a wide range of linguistic resources and illustrate well the heterogeneous results of taboo-motivated language change.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1944-6527
Print ISSN
0003-5483
Pages
pp. 195-217
Launched on MUSE
2016-05-05
Open Access
No
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