A Sociolinguistic Approach of Taboo Words in Moroccan Society

  • Khalid Houssaini Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fès, Morocco
Keywords: Taboo language, Ethnography of Communication, Register, Euphemism


Taboo can be characterized as being concerned with behavior which is believed to be supernaturally forbidden or regarded as immoral or improper. Taboo, in language, is associated with things which are not said, and in particular with words and expressions which are not used. This paper is concerned with a sociolinguistic analysis of taboo phenomenon in Moroccan society. In other words, it tries to combine societal and situational factors together to see how they influence taboo. Taboo words are examined and explained in their sociocultural and communicational contexts. In other words, they are treated as dynamic phenomenon in the Moroccan society. For this reason, the paper suggests a contextual framework for the analysis of taboo words in Moroccan culture. It discusses the creation, violations and the use of euphemism for taboo language. A questionnaire survey is administered to a random population sample of 200 adult Moroccan respondents to elicit their views and attitudes on the use of taboo words and on strategies they adopt to use euphemistic devices. The findings reveal a close correlation between the use of taboo words and euphemism and their contexts of use. These findings indicate that the use of linguistic taboo and euphemism differ from one individual to another depending on their age, gender, educational background and the context of use. General conclusions and discussion are drawn to encourage future studies on taboo as a cultural and linguistic phenomenon.


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How to Cite
Houssaini, K. (2019). A Sociolinguistic Approach of Taboo Words in Moroccan Society. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 15(29), 37. https://doi.org/10.19044/esj.2019.v15n29p37