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Insults have been punishable by law for centuries in Sweden. Legal proceedings from historical sources record numerous accounts of cases involving defamation of character, and many of the judicial texts detail the cause of an insult, its formulation, and the effect on the listener. The primary material I examine in my investigation is excerpted from two different series of official proceedings from Uppsala in the 1600s: the university council minutes of Uppsala University and the judicial records of the city court. My investigation illuminates sociolinguistic aspects of insults as speech acts in the historical material, examining their semantic and pragmatic dimensions. My analysis takes into account the form and meaning of the linguistic expressions as well as their power of insult and their effects on the persons addressed.
Historical discourse analysis, historical pragmatics, speech act theory, text analysis.
CV in brief
- Doctoral student in Scandinavian Languages, 2007–2011
- Senior high school teacher, Sigtunaskolan Humanistiska Läroverket, 1986, 1991–2006
- Senior high school teacher, Finnvedens gymnasium, Värnamo, 1989–1991
- Foreign lecturer in Swedish, Karl-Marx-Universität, Leipzig, 1988–1989
- Teacher Education degree, Swedish and German, Uppsala University, 1985.
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