Decoding verbal bullying through speech acts in the song “Half breed”

Author

Stavridi, Asimina

Affiliation

University of Athens, Oulof Palme, Zografou, 15772, Athens, Greece

Abstract

In the research below, we investigate the connection between Linguistics and Psychology. The theories of speech acts and of cooperative principles are cooperating with the Rosenthal effect and the phenomenon of Verbal Abuse/Bullying. We examine those aspects in the song “Half Breed” by the American singer Cher. Speech acts and the cooperative principle explain the importance of the positivity or negativity that an utterance carries and examine the impact that they have over their recipient’s behavior through a linguistic perspective. The song we investigate has plenty of examples of verbal racistic abuse, a phenomenon not rare in the society of today. The way in which those two scientific fields are cooperating, reveals many important relations between the two points of theoretical view. In that way, it is shown that the Speech Acts and the field of Linguistic Pragmatics in general, can be a useful tool in a framework of solving problems not only in the language but also outside of it. The need for cooperation between the social sciences appears strong because each of them can examine crucial problems, such as the detecting of racist verbal bullying in a text, in a different and complementary way.

Keywords

pragmatics; speech acts; cooperative principle; verbal abuse; Rosenthal effect

Publication Date

December 30, 2020

Issue

Volume 7, Issue 2

Citation information

Stavridi, Asimina. 2020. “Decoding verbal bullying through speech acts in the song ‘Half breed’.” Language. Text. Society 7 (2). https://ltsj.online/2020-07-2-stavridi.

BibTeX

@Article{Stavridi2020,
author = {Stavridi, Asimina},
title = {Decoding verbal bullying through speech acts in the song “Half breed”},
journal = {Language. Text. Society},
year = {2020},
issn = {2687-0487},
number = {2},
volume = {7},
url = {https://ltsj.online/2020-07-2-stavridi},
}

References

Austin, John L. 1962. How to do things with words. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.

Beebe, L. (1995). Polite fictions: instrumental rudeness as pragmatics and competence. Georgetown University Roundtable on Language and Linguistics, 154-168.

Besag, Valerie E. 1989. Bullies and Victims in Schools: A Guide to Understanding and Management. Milton Keyns: Open University Press.

Blommaert, Jan. 2005. Discourse: A Critical Introduction. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Boggs, Colleen Glenney. 2013. Speech acts: Constative and performative. https://ed.ted.com/lessons/speech-acts-constative-and-performative-colleen-glenney-boggs.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1999. Γλώσσα και συμβολική εξουσία [Language and Symbolic Authority]. Athens: Kardamitsa Publications.

Britton, James N. 1972. Language and Learning. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books

Cepollaro, Bianca. 2015. “Gli epiteti denigratori: presupposizioni infami.” Esercizi Filosofici 10: 154–168.

Culpeper, Jonathan. 2011. Impoliteness: Using Language to Cause Offence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Daniels, Jessie 2008. Race, Civil Rights and Hate Speech in the Digital Era. New York: City University of New York. https://academicworks.cuny.edu/gc_pubs/193/.

De Vito, Joseph. 2004. Ανθρώπινη επικοινωνία [Human communication]. Athens: Ion-Hellin Publications.

Espelage, Dorothy L., and Susan M. Swearer. 2003. “Research on School Bullying and Victimization: What Have We Learned and Where Do We Go From Here?” School Psychology Review 32 (3): 365–83. https://doi.org/10.1080/02796015.2003.12086206.

Evans-Pritchard, Edward E. 1991. Κοινωνική Ανθρωπολογία [Social Anthropology], translated by A. Paritsi. 2nd Edition. Athens: Kardamitsa Publications.

Feldman, Robert Stephen. 2011. Εξελικτική Ψυχολογία: Δια βίου ανάπτυξη [Evolutionary psychology. Life span development], edited by G. H. Bezevegis. Athens: Gutemberg.

Filippaki-Warburton, Eirini. 1992. Εισαγωγή στη θεωρητική γλωσσολογία [Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics]. Athens: Nefeli Publications.

Fromkin, Victoria, Robert Rodman, and Nina M. Hyams. 2010. Μια εισαγωγή στη μελέτη της γλώσσας [An introduction to language], edited by G. I. Xydopoulos. Athens: Pataki Publications.

Georgakopoulou, Aikaterini, and Dionisios Goutsos. 2011. Κείμενο και επικοινωνία [Text and communication]. Athens: Pataki Publications.

Goutsos, Dionisios. 2012. Γλώσσα κείμενο, ποικιλία, σύστημα [Language, text, variety, system]. Athens: Kritiki Publication.

Grice, Herbert Paul. 1975. “Logic and conversation.” In Syntax and semantics, Vol. 3: Speech acts, edited by Peter Cole, and Jerry L. Morgan, 41-58. New York: Academic Press.

Habermas, Jurgen. 1991. “Comments on John Searle’s ‘Meaning, Communication, and Representation’.” In John Searle and His Critics, edited by Ernest LePore and Robert Van Gulick, 17–29. Oxford: Blackwell.

Hasher, Lynn, David Goldstein, and Thomas Toppino. 1977. “Frequency and the Conference of Referential Validity.” Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior 16 (1): 107–112. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5371(77)80012-1.

Kanakes, Kostas. 2007. Εισαγωγή στην πραγματολογία: Γνωστικές και κοινωνικές όψεις της γλωσσικής χρήσης [Pragmatics: An introduction to Cognitive and Social aspects of Language in Use]. Athena: Ekdoseis tou Eikostou Protou.

Kelly, George Alexander. 1963. Theory of Personality: The Psychology of Personal Constructs. New York: Norton.

Konstantinou, Katerina and Anastasia Psalti. 2007. “Το φαινόμενο του εκφοβισμού στα σχολεία της δευτεροβάθμιας εκπαίδευσης: Η επίδραση φύλου και εθνοπολιτισμικής εκπαίδευσης” [“The phenomenon of bullying in secondary schools: the influence of gender and ethnocultural origin.”] Ψυχολογία [Psychology] 14 (4): 329–345.

Levinson, Stephen C. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge textbooks in linguistics. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Lyons, John. 1981. Language and linguistics: an introduction. Cambridge [Cambridgeshire] ; New York: Cambridge University Press.

Marmaridou, Sophia S. A. 2000. Pragmatic Meaning and Cognition. Pragmatics & Beyond, N.S., 72. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Nunberg, Geoffrey. 2018. “The social life of the slurs.” In New Work on Speech Acts, edited by Daniel Fogal, Daniel W. Harris and Matt Moss. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198738831.003.0010.

Olweus, Dan. 1978. Aggression in the schools: bullies and whipping boys. The Series in clinical and community psychology. Washington : New York: Hemisphere.

OSCE/ODIHR. 2009. Annual Report. Warsaw: Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/0/9/67854.pdf.

Panzeri, Francesca. 2016. “Gli slurs tra filosofia del linguaggio e linguistica.” Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio 10 (1), 64-77. https://doi.org/10.4396/20160605.

Papanikolaou, Katerina. 2014. Αυτόματη ανάλυση των κατευθυντικών γλωσσικών πράξεων [Automatic analysis of directional verbal acts]. Diplomatic essay, Postgraduate programme “Technolingualism VII”. Athens: EKPA.

Pavlidou, Theodosia. 1981. “Dialectic indicators in Greek.” In The Studies on the Greek Language, Proceedings of the Second Annual Meeting of the Department of Linguistics of the Philological School of the University of Thessaloniki, 245-268.

Politis, Periklis. 2015. The texts in the textbooks of the Primary School for the language course. Typology and teaching issues. Greek language center, accessed June 4, 2020, http://www.greek-language.gr/digitalResources/en/index.html.

Potts, Christopher. 2011. “The pragmatics of conversational implicature and expressive content.” In Semantics: an international handbook of natural language meaning, edited by Claudia Maienborn, Klaus von Heusinger, and Paul Portner, 2516–2536. Handbooks of linguistics and communication science. Berlin ; New York: De Gruyter Mouton.

Rigby, Ken. 1996. Bullying in schools. And what to do about it. London: Jessica Kingsley.

Rodella, Anna. 2017. Slurs: Aspetti semantici e giuridici. Tesi di laurea. Brescia: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

Rosenthal, Robert, and Lenore Jacobson. 1968. Pygmalion in the Classroom: Teacher Expectation and Pupil’s Intellectual Development. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Rosenthal, Robert. 2002. “The Pygmalion effect and its mediating mechanisms.” In Improving academic achievement: Impact of psychological factors on education, edited by Joshua Aronson. Amsterdam ; Boston: Academic Press.

Sapir, Edward. 1966. Culture, Language and Personality: Selected Essays. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Saussure, Ferdinand de. 1960. Cours de linguistique générale, 5th edition. Paris: Éditions Payot & Rivages

Searle, John R. 1969. Speech Acts: an essay in the philosophy of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Sharp, Sonia, Peter K Smith, and Peter Smith. 1994. School Bullying: Insights and Perspectives. London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203425497.

Snyder, Mark. 1974. “Self-monitoring of expressive behavior.” Journal of Personality and Social psychology 30 (4): 526–537.

Suckling, Amelia, and Carla Temple. 2001. Bullying: a whole-school approach. Melbourne: ACER Press.

Thomas, Jenny. 1995. Meaning in interaction: an introduction to pragmatics. Learning about language. London ; New York: Longman.

Veloudis, John. 2005. Το νόημα πριν κατά και μετά τη γλώσσα [The meaning before, during and after the language]. Athens: Kritiki Publications.

Wallwork, John F. 1978. Language and people. London: Heinemann Educational Books.

Walton, Douglas N. 2007. Dialog theory for critical argumentation. Controversies, v. 5. Amsterdam ; Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Wittgenstein, Leonard. 1977. Φιλοσοφικές Έρευνες [Philosophical Research], edited by N. Giannadakis, translated by P. Christodoulides. Athens: Papazisis Publications.

Yule, George. 2006. Πραγματολογία [Pragmatics], edited and translated by T. S. Pavlidou. Thessaloniki: Institute of Modern Greek studies.