Document Type : Research article


1 PhD candidate, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Zanjan branch, Zanjan, Iran

2 Assistant professor, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

3 Assistant professor, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Education and Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Zanjan branch, Zanjan, Iran


The present study explored the linguistic taboos in the Iranian cinema. Twenty Iranian movies in a period of twenty years—1998 to 2018—comprised the main corpus of this study. The descriptive method was used in this sociolinguistic study to describe the conditions in the Iranian movies. To answer the research questions and analyze the data obtained on the types of taboo words, the framework provided by Andersson and Trudgill (1990) was first modified slightly and then applied to this research. All the three types of categories presented by Andersson and Trudgill, i.e., sex and bodily functions, sanctity, and animals with the absence of sex type were used in this research. Besides, the traces of five other types of death, morality, physical/mental problems, relatives, and unpleasant concepts were also found in the Iranian cinema. Moreover, in order to study the functions of the taboo words, a revised classification developed by Wardhaugh (2006) was utilized. Based on thei findings, among the components of Wardhaugh’s classification, attention and provocation were observed in the Iranian cinema as well. A total number of 1262 taboos were detected in the data collected for this research. According to the findings, unpleasant concepts with the frequency of 49.45% proved to be the most commonly uttered type of taboo terms. Regarding the function of taboos, providing catharsis, with a frequency of 48.73%, was placed in the first rank. The findings lent us a helping hand in better understanding the spoken aspects in the informal usage of Persian; they also revealed the explicit and implicit reflections of emotions in
dialogical contexts.


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