Why The Sound Of Swearing Is Less Offensive Across Different Languages?

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Why The Sound Of Swearing Is Less Offensive

Psychology News

A team of researchers at the University of London provided interesting insights into the sound of swearing across different languages. The study is published in the journal Psychonomic Bulletin & Review.

The Study

The researchers conducted a series of experiments to better understand the linguistics of swear words across different languages. In one study, for instance, speakers of five unrelated languages were asked to list the most offensive words they knew in their language, excluding racial slurs.

In another, participants were asked to rate pairs of pseudo-words and judge if these were swear words or not. They also looked into minced oaths.

The Findings

The results revealed that Swear words across different languages lack certain sounds such as l, r, and w. Because of this, these tend to appear less offensive to listeners.

To Know More You May Refer To

Lev-Ari, S., & McKay, R. (2022). The sound of swearing: Are there universal patterns in profanity?. Psychonomic bulletin & review, 10.3758/s13423-022-02202-0. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-022-02202-0

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