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When canonical curses do not seem fit for purposes, individual creativity coins new ones, adding ironic elements to traditional and crystallized utterances. So, the divine, by which many curses are inspired, can be abandoned to draw on profanity, searching for agents, objects, and actions of the curses in ordinary human life. But what happens in literature, which is one of the highest expressions of human creativity?
The characters of literary texts, like their real counterparts, swear, insult, and wish bad luck. Often, and for a long time, these speech acts have been considered taboo by most Arab authors. The wider freedom of how to speak, given to the characters in the s, allows the occurrence of a large amount of curses and swearing, borrowed from both the vernacular and standard Arabic, but also invented.
Keywords: curses, standard Arabic, Egyptian vernacular, creativity, rhetoric, pragmatics. Introduction Literature reflects and influences life, with its forms and contents. On the one hand, it provides images of the world and its languages, and, on the other, it contributes to forge them. By narrating, in oral or written forms, all the functions necessary to represent both reality and fantasy can be fulfilled, including the emotional one, which cursing belongs to.
Similarly to people in ordinary life, literary characters curse. They use expressions that writers draw from everyday experience or from their own imagination, thus inventing a new effective bad language. This story of madness and transgression has as protagonist a man who suffers from a dissociative identity disorder and is alienated from society. My study intends to highlight this dual aspect. Methodology The analysis starts with direct observation of data contained in the literary text, pointing to propose possible links between the observable facts and mental constructs.
Moving from the kernel idea that language choices are correspondent to specific purposes, my study explores the connection of signifiers with references, implicatures, presuppositions, and speech acts. The second step of my research effectively consists in inferring the non-literal meaning of utterances in their context of use, highlighting their lexical, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic functions.
Vernacular speech is highlighted by the presence of V ; chapters and pages are indicated in square brackets. Corpus Curses direct and indirect 1 A broader investigation on language choices in this novel was the object of an article of mine Avallone For a psychoanalytic approach to the story, see Borossa, Julia.
To hell with borrower and lender alike. For the recurrence of semantic and pragmatic values, besides syntactic and lexical aspects, compare utterance 1 to utterance 6. You are you. A similar construction occurs in utterance 12 where the logical subject — a presupposed supernatural power capable of destruction — is omitted. A destructive supernatural power is attributed to curses and, in the case in point, oriented to annihilate the obstacles and the enemies encountered during life.
Images such as a pneumatic drill, together with references to banks, money, shops, streets, schools, museums, and libraries — all of them damned —, help the reader to figure the urban set of this underground story. In addition to direct curses, there are aphorisms that could be defined as indirect curses because of their function of suggesting vengeance. A reference to patterns of behaviour is due: a normal response to an offence, according to social and cultural acceptability, would be proportional and not so extreme and grotesque.
He generates a text that does not cease to amaze the reader from incipit to epilogue, for both the plot and discourse. Among the rhetorical devices largely used, hyperbole is very significant and emphasizes the distance between a comprehensive, rational, and realistic vision of world and a postmodern one. Disgust,21 rage, and hot temper are the ingredients of this smouldered desire of retaliation, in a framework where feelings, moods, social norms, appropriate or not appropriate actions mix producing an original and innovative literary text.
Clearly, the common speech collocations are revisited to produce an atypical mixture of rapid frames astonishing the reader in a synesthetic experience. In the rough language of the novel references to parents are limited and, as in item 41 , they can be part of allusions. Final remarks I have restricted my work to present a number of linguistic items corresponding to the semantic and pragmatic functions of cursing.
It includes standard and vernacular Arabic, interferences of foreign languages, slangs, typical expressions of youngsters, and a rich repertory of utterances with figurative meanings, several of which sound bizarre even to native-speaking readers. Alaidy, Ahmed. Being Abbas El Abd. Avallone, Lucia. Badawi, Elsaid M. Beirut: Librarie du Liban. Caridi, Paola. Fahd, T. Leiden: Brill.
Jay, Timothy. Why We Curse. A neuro-psycho-social theory of speech. Masliyah, Sadok. Rosenbaum, Gabriel, M. Stewart, Devin. Toelle, Heidi. Meaning and Relevance. Cambridge: Cambridge University press. Ruocco , pp. Pfister , pp. Sanders Amesbury ; Bishop , pp. Camus , p.
Camus , pp. Beit-Hallahmi ; Zuckerman Libertd cercando e amore. Poemi di un siriano contemporaneo, E. Baldissera ed. Lecce: Pietro Marni. Amesbury, Richard. Zalta ed. Bawardi, Basilius. Leiden-Boston: Brill: Beit-Hallahmi, Benjamin. New York: Cambridge University Press: Bishop, John. Byrne, Peter. Natural Religion and the Nature of Religion. London: Routledge.
Camus, Albert. Anthony Bower Translator. Crittenden, Paul. Dunn, J. Michigan: Wm. Eerdmans Publishing. Foley, J. Albert Camus: From the Absurd to Revolt. Juvan, Marko. History and Poetics of Intertextuality. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press.
Mossner, Ernest. New York, Macmillan: Ruocco, M. Sagi, Avi. Albert Camus and the Philosophy of the Absurd. Amsterdam-New York: Rodopi. Sanders, Julie. Adaptation and Appropriation. Sefler, G. Seeman, Melvin. Twining, James E. Zuckerman, Phill. This study aims to identify the swear words in the Spoken Arabic of Tunis, an Arabic variety of North Africa and classify them according to their origin the denotative meanings behind them or their usage they are pragmatically very versatile, because they can be utilized for different pragmatic reasons, including negative politeness towards friends.
This research is part of a bigger endeavor that aims to record and describe a complete list of insults, curses and obscene language employed in the Spoken Arabic of Tunis, with a clear pragmatic analysis of each category. Introduction Profanity or offensive language, bad words, cuss words, curse words, swear words, etc. Profanity is the kind of language that usually refers to taboo words or swear words.
Such words are considered either inappropriate or very unacceptable in most social contexts. The contexts in which people usually resort to swearing include arguing with or insulting the other, joking and mocking, being in pain or frustrated, or as a product of anger or stress. This study aims to list as much of the swear words utilized in the Spoken Arabic of Tunis henceforth SAT as possible, while also classifying them according to their origin and usage and discuss some cases where the swear words were employed for different pragmatic reasons.
As mentioned by Ritt , it is very difficult for a foreing researcher to be able to record linguist material containing swear words and insults, because the attitude that Arabs take in front of foreigners is one with reservations and, as such, these words are seen taboo and very shameful for the Arabic speakers, when they are outside their comfort zone outside their friends and family circle, where they can express themselves freely.
That is why a swear word is almost never involuntarily unless the person is under a lot of stress or pain uttered by a person, because it requires too much of a situational investment to just be thrown away, without gaining something in return. Geoffrey Leech , in this same sense, formulates a principle of politeness based on the conversational maxims of generosity, approbation, modesty, agreement and sympathy.
The only issue involving these theories is that they are all built on the premises that communication is taking place within the same ethnic or social context; thus, communication can be thought of as a universal principle for human interaction. Nonetheless, there is a plethora of forms of communication out there and they vary immensely from one situation to another and from one social class to another, not to mention the case of intercultural communication.
According to Jay cursing refers to several uses of offensive speech: Technically speaking, cursing is wishing harm on a person e. But the term cursing is used comprehensively here to include categories such as: swearing, obscenity, profanity, blasphemy, name calling, insulting, verbal aggression, taboo speech, ethnic-racial slurs, vulgarity, slang, and scatology. Dirty-word expressions are typically interpreted connotatively Jay and Danks, For example, when we call someone a bastard we are not questioning the legitimacy of his birth but expressing dislike for him.
Connotation is generally linked to emotional expression, not to denoting a specific feature of the person in question. Other important sources for my corpus of recordings were written recordings that I have been able to save from social networking websites and forums on the internet as well as dedicated websites for corpora collection like ArabeTunisien.
I then asked the help of SAT speakers to read the texts I found and thus I was able to better understand some utterances I was struggling with from only their written samples and was finally able to transliterate them properly. The informants were of all ages from teenagers to elderly people , with various levels of education and formation.
However, in almost all cases, the informants were male. I was only able to hear women swearing in very few cases, as it almost never occurs in general, especially outside of their homes, or in front of foreigners. Swear words related to body parts In SAT the most frequent taboo words refer to body parts and the private areas especially the genitalia. These words are used in full-fledged swear expressions, but some of them also act as stand-alone transmitters of inappropriate meanings and insults.
It is oftentimes utilized for expressing not only its denotative meaning, but its many connotative meanings also. In 1a it is used when someone is feeling desperate or miserable. In 1b and 1c the term is used in comparisons to show that something is in a really bad situation or it is ugly and undesirable.
The example in 1g marks the fact that the situation is much more serious or sever than what it would normally be. As such, the entire expression can also be rendered in a shorter version, as in 1i. In 1l the term is used as a form of negative politeness and can only be employed among friends with this connotation.
F and who write. B: You fucking wish! Fuck you pl. M in head-3SG. Both the verb and the participle inherited the denotative meaning from the noun term and developed accordingly. F PRS. Why God-2SG take. Some of these verbs are denominal, derived from nouns referring to other taboo concepts and terms. In both cases, the pragmatic reason for choosing the swear word is to imply the seriousness of the situations. M man pedophile fucker in brain-3SG. M PRS. References Brown, P.
Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cohen, David. Le parler arabe des juifs de Tunis. The Hague—Paris: Mouton. Goffman, Erving. New York: Pantheon Books. Grice, Paul In Cole, P. New York: Academic Press. Jay, Timothy B. Kazimirski, A. Beirut: Librairie du Liban. Lakoff, Robin. Corum, T. Cedric Smith- Stark, A. Weiser eds. Chicago: Department of Linguistics, University of Chicago. Leech, G. Principles of pragmatics. Mion, Giuliano.
Nuova serie. Ritt-Benmimoun eds. Studies on Contemporary Arabic Dialects. Proceedings of the 7th Aida Conference. Viena: LIT Verlag. Folia Orientalia. Vol Ritt-Benmimoun, Veronika. Singer, Hans-Rudolf. Grammatik der arabischen Mundart der Medina von Tunis. Berlin—New York: de Gruyter.
Disparage, cursing and verbal abuse are among the discarded topics, or which society tries to avoid, to say the least. The Tuaregs share with numerous other societies their interest in the Word and its purpose. They know that it more painful than a strong hit that causes physical pain. Slander affects individuals, men or women, and tribes as well. It collectively harms these hierarchical societies governed by relationships that balance between seriousness and humor. The latter is nothing but an essence of a wind-proof of the painful events witnessed by the society.
It allows transformation of social pains into outlets through which harmony could be achieved and embarrassing situations could be avoided. We try, through the proverbs, poems and various tales, to limit the words and forms of curse and insult within the Tuaregs, by focusing on ritualistic cursing through the pertaining poems and songs, which has become prohibited topics except in rare situations with heavy reservations.
That is because poets quitted sarcasm until it became prohibited due to its impact on individuals and groups, propagation rapidity of songs and poems and the lightning-like memorization, transmission and broadcast of such songs and poems.
Keywords: curse, sarcasm, Tuareg, poems, songs, seriousness, humor, power. Casajus, D. Bernus, Edmond. Casajus, Dominique. Gast, Marceau. Rasmussen, Susan. Journal of American folklore : Roulon-Doko, Paulette. People use gros mots and curses in their everyday life in order to express their feelings of anger, dissatisfaction, frustration, and even their humor.
In this study we provide an insight into the gros mots and curse utterances in the Iranian cinema. A literal translation and its equivalent in English are also provided. Keywords: gros mots, curse words, Iran, Asghar Farhadi, Iranian movies. Introduction Gros mots sing.
Jay believes that gros mots are inevitably used in everyday language and they are indeed a psychological phenomenon. The first recorded cases of swearing and cursing words are attributed to the Ancient Egyptians and have been used for many years verbally before they were finally recorded in the form of written language. Ljung, In Iranian culture gros mots are a delicate subject to approach, since in a conservative and religious society, swearing is considered as something that should be avoided because of its offensive, vulgar, indecent or blasphemous side.
Swearing is a form of expression and even if swearing is discouraged, Iranians still use bad language in order to express their feelings of anger, frustration, surprise, hatred, and dissatisfaction of a situation. This can be seen in Iranian movies too.
After the Revolution, the cinema industry of Iran faced many upside-downs and restrictions were imposed on many subjects tackled in the movies. The screenplay of the three movies also belongs to Asghar Farhadi. The characters of the movies belong mostly to the upper-middle class of the Iranian society, but people from the lower class are also portrayed in the movies.
The questions raised by this study are: 1. Which are the gros mots and curses used in the three movies? Who uses more gros mots? Men or women? Are the characters from the lower social class using more gros mots than the ones from the upper-middle class? Discussion In the present inquiry, after the gros mots were extracted from the three movies, they were classified into tables based on the characters utterances, they were translated literally and then their equivalent in English was provided.
After the aforementioned classification, we tried to identify whether men or women use more gros mots and swear words in the three selected movies. Gender differentiation has an important role in using gros mots and curse words, as women and men express their feelings differently and, according to Bird and Harris , men are more likely to swear in comparison with women when frustrated or angry.
In what follows, a short summary of the movies will be provided. We will also make reference to the characters of the movies their gender and to which class of the society they belong and then we will provide a brief analysis of the utterances and by whom they are delivered. Movie 1. About Elly The first selected movie was About Elly , a tragic-drama film. As the movie begins, a group of educated young Iranians belonging to the upper-middle class are driving out of Tehran in order to spend their weekend in the North of Iran by the Caspian Sea.
When they arrive at the destination they find out that the villa they wanted to rent for the weekend was available only for one night. It turns out that Sepideh, the female character who organized the trip, knew about this. They move to another villa, near the beach. Sepideh lies again when she wants to rent the other villa, telling to the woman in charge that Elly and Ahmad were newlyweds. In fact her personality is different from the group and she dowsnt fit there. While Sepideh and her friends were trying to match her up with Ahmad and making jokes about that, Elly seems not to like it, but again, she does not say anything about this.
When the group arrives at the villa, Elly tries to phone her mother but there is no signal on the beach, so Ahmad takes her to the village so she can have a mobile phone connection. When calling her mother, we find out that she does not tell the truth about her coming to the Caspian Sea, she tells her mother that she came with her colleagues from the kindergarten. The next day, the group plays around the beach, two of the women go to the grocery and at one point Elly remains to take care of the children.
The sequence interrupts and suddenly we see one of the kids screaming and calling for help, as one of the boys is drowning. The characters: Table 1. Beside the old woman from the North of Iran, who seems to belong to the lower class, the other nine characters belong to the upper-middle class of the society. Table 2. Goh be in [oh, father! Shit on this Oh man! The old elahi bemiram! The intensity of the utterances is also different.
Peyman is the character who uses the higher number of gros mots and in some instances in the movie when he argues with his wife, he says hamin gohi-am ke hastam. The old lady who is in charge with the villas uses only a curse idiom, namely elahi bemiram! This may suggest that elder people usually are not used to pronounce swear words, but using curse utterances is a more common way to express their feelings when faced with unpleasant events.
So, in the movie About Elly, the characters from the upper-middle class, even if they belong to a more educated area, tend to use gros mots frequently. Movie 2. A Separation The second movie is A Separation , also a tragic-drama film. The story is about a married couple and their teenager daughter.
The characters are mostly from the upper- middle class, but there are also characters from the lower class of the Iranian society in the movie. So Simin proposes him either to give her the divorce, or to let their daughter accompany her. Razieh belongs to the lower class. As she struggles to earn money, Razieh does not tell her husband that she works for Nader, because he would not allow her to do that.
One day when Nader comes home earlier than usual, he finds his father tied up to the bed and Razieh absent. When she comes back, he fires her, accusing her also of stealing money from the house. Razieh, who is pregnant, accuses him of pushing her down the stairs and causing her a miscarriage. The plot continues with proving who lies and who says the truth about the incidents. The characters: Table 3. Four of them are from the upper-middle class and four of them belong to the lower class of the society.
In the table below Table 4 , the gros mots utterances of the characters, their literal translations, and their pragmatic translation will be provided. The table above shows that, in A Separation, six out of eight characters use gros mots. Four of them are females and two of them are males.
One of the females belongs to the upper-middle class and the other three which include an eight year old girl , belong to the lower class. One of the males belongs to the upper-middle class and the other one to the lower class of the society. The males also are the ones who swear the most, and Hojjat and Nader have the same number of swear utterances.
Hojjat and Simin use frequently expressions in which gur-e pedar is common. According to religious beliefs, dogs are unclean and filthy and they are seen by the majority of the lower class people as unsacred and untouchable animals. The subject of owning a dog or touching it is controversial and also usually misunderstood in Iran, thus we will not enter into details, but exactly the fact that it is a controversial subject makes an animal like a dog to be seen as something very bad, thus the aim of uttering that kind of insults is to look down and discredit the one the expression is addressed to.
So, when using the expressions quoted above, Hojjat wants to appear in the position of a victim. Because he was thrown away like a dog from his job, it is obvious that he thinks that they discredited him and his hard work was not appreciated because he did not belong to another society class and when he talks about his miscarried child, he seems to accuse Nader of not valuing and ignoring them for coming from a poor family.
The Salesman The Salesman , like the other two movies, is a drama. Moreover, it won an Oscar Prize for Best Foreing Language Film and also other important distinctions in the cinema industry. The movie has in the front row two main characters, Emad and Rana, from the upper-middle social class. After their apartment collapses, Rana and Emad are forced to find another place to live.
Emad is a school teacher, but he and his wife work also in the theatre. Babak, their colleague at the theatre, finds another apartment for them. The intrigue begins when, one night, Rana is home alone, expecting Emad to come. She opens the door for him without asking who is at the door and she starts to have a bath. In the next scene we see Emad coming home and blood on the stairs and in the bathroom. When they come back home, Emad finds traces of the attacker car key, mobile phone, money, etc.
Even if Rana suffers a trauma from the event, the two do not talk to the police, but Emad tries to make justice on his own. Consequently he finally traces the truck belonging to the attacker and goes after him. It becomes apparent that the attacker was a married old man. The characters: Table 5. So we will refer to Mansour and his family as belonging to the middle class. Thus, due to the lack of information about their status, their social class is difficult to be established.
Table 6. Sanam maraz! Majid qalat kardam! The table above shows that seven out of thirteen characters of the movie use gros mots and curses. Two of them are female, whilte the other five are male characters. Rana, the main character of the movie, does not use gros mots. Mother fucker! Babak also uses the last expression; in fact there is a swearing exchange on the stage between Emad and Babak, which for the audience seems to be between the characters in the theatre, but in reality Emad has lost control on the play lines and took his anger out on Babak on the stage for not letting him know about the previous tenant of the apartment who seemed to be a prostitute.
This is a proof of friendship and closeness between Emad and Sadra. As the tables above show, it can be stated that, in The Salesman, the members of the upper-middle class use more gros mots than the middle class members. Also, people from the lower social class are not portrayed in this movie. Conclusion The results of the study confirm the fact that even if in the Iranian society the use of gros mots and curses is highly discouraged, mostly on religious principles, Iranian people still use swear words to express their feelings of anger, frustration, dissatisfaction or even their humor, as reflected in the tables above.
From the three movies analyzed in the paper, it can be concluded that male characters use substantially more swear words as compared to the female characters. Thus Sepideh manages to break the limits and the stereotypes of the Iranian society. Also, as shown by Table , elder people tend to use curse words instead of gros mots. Concerning the classification of utterances based on social classes, the subject could be analyzed only in the movie A Separation, due to the fact that in the movie About Elly only one character was belonging to the lower class, while the other ones were connected to the upper-middle class; in the movie The Salesman none of its characters acttually belongs to the lower class.
References Anvari, H. Tehran: Soxan. Bird, G. Journal of Early Adolescence 10 2 : Issari, M. Cinema in Iran Metuchen: The Scarecrow Press. Jay, T. Amsterdam: John Benjamins B. Ljung, M. Swearing: A Cross-cultural Linguistic Study. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Filmography About Elly dir. Asghar Farhadi, Iran. A Separation dir. The Salesman dir. The system of verbal impoliteness in Maghrebi dialects of Arabic as in any given language , far from being random, is governed by principles that have successfully been described by Brown and Levinson Keywords: dialectology, linguistics, Maghrebi Arabic, verbal politeness, curses, insults.
A complete abstention from performing FTAs, however, would obviously result in a complete paralysis of human social interaction. When a given culture e. Insults related to physical aspect and bodily defects; II. Insults related to moral qualities; III. Insults comparing the target to animals; IV. Racist insults; V. Insults containing four letter words. Curses, on the other hand, can be defined as: … a wish expressed verbally for something bad to befall a certain person or object.
Not every expression of a wish is a prayer. It is a prayer if God is addressed either directly or indirectly to fulfil the wish Masliya The following pages contain a thorough description and wide exemplification of the different categories of insults. The following pages contain a thorough description and wide exemplification of the different categories of curses. Death and ill-wishes; VI. Curses involving body parts and obscenities. It will, on the other hand, describe some of the strategies employed by speakers to enhance the effectiveness of their curse or ill wish.
The power of words, moreover, can be enhanced through the use of specific rhetorical means, such as metaphors, metonyms, rhymes and alliterations, a feature often observed whenever language is employed in ritual or liturgical contexts Malinowski The following paragraphs, thus, will analyze in detail four strategies commonly employed in Maghrebi dialects to express curses and ill wishes and to enhance their power, highlighting their connection with the religious and ritual employment of language.
While the first three will be analyzed individually, repetition is a common trait of Arabic and Semitic rhetoric, which will equally occur in the three different strategies. Root-echo forms The employment of root-echo forms is a widespread strategy in the Semitic languages, which can be equally employed in manifestations of verbal politeness and impoliteness and builds on their root-and-pattern derivative mechanism. In other words, the speaker, after being addressed a generic expression by his interlocutor, individuates the key word around which the utterance revolves, extracts its root and employs it to shape an adequate response, featuring a root-echo keyword, i.
The most common example of this strategy is the Arabic greeting exchange: 3 Ratcliffe rejects the so-called root-and-pattern morphology as an abstraction with no psycholinguistic reality, but different works by Al Jallad and Boudelaa prove the existence of the root in the mental lexicon of Arabic speakers. SG-you Within the field of Arabic dialectology, root-echo forms have been almost exclusively investigated with reference to Mashreqi dialects5.
SG-you B. SG-you papule or A. PST-you DEF-plague 4 We will provide, in brackets, the geographic provenance of the sample for samples drawn from existing literature, the source will be provided. PST spirit-your or B. In some cases, speakers also distort the original root to achieve the desired effect. SG-you void The curses, here, perform a pragmatic function. The trigger, in fact, is not a rude expression as seen for the other samples.
In Arabic-speaking societies, kinship terms also play a role in face-redress, being commonly used to edge requests, reproaches and other FTAs. In Arabic-speaking societies, on the contrary, negative politeness strategies are exceedingly rare when redressing requests, being limited to cases in which the distance between the two speakers is very large or when the request is considered as extremely burdensome.
The three examples above reported, thus, share a common structure. The interlocutor, however, refuses to acknowledge this common ground, symbolically distorting the root of the kinship term employed and using it to shape a curse. SG-you crookedness A retort, finally, can also be triggered by a non-verbal initiator. Ferguson b shows that the diffusion of root-echo forms is not limited to Arabic, but more widely concerns a great number of Semitic languages.
Occurrences, for instance, can be found in biblical Psalms. The two final lines of Psalm , for example, were interpreted by Ferguson as a textbook occurrence of root-echo form: common choice. We bless you in the name of the Lord. Ferguson b: — When it is said unto you, Make room! Rhyme and alliteration The element common to verbal politeness and ritual is, as said above, a fundamental belief in the magical power of words. God PRS. SG-you like pomegranate from every side full Untranslatable thanking expression usually addressed to young girls, basically wishing them a happy pregnancy Dekkak SG news-your and PRS.
SG chest-your and PRS. These formulae, on the contrary, make use of a form of repetition and parallelism that serves to reinforce the magic power of words. Once again, the biblical text gives us different examples of parallelism. The following analysis, originally developed to explain the function of parallelism in the 10 Yeast, whose fermentation allows the baker to prepare bread, is generally considered a well-wishing element.
Word-echo forms Word-echo responses follow a pattern that shows many similarities with root-echo forms, yet have not been, so far, described. The main difference consists in the fact that root-echo forms, described in paragraph 2, employ the root of the keyword of the first turn to shape a well or ill wish which is, in general, semantically linked to the expression that triggered it.
The following polite exchange exemplifies, once again, the concept. SG-you with-all good A partial exception is represented by root-echo curses, since the speaker often purposefully reverses the meaning of the first expression in order to disorient the addressee. This strategy, however, is usually limited to the dominion of verbal impoliteness: A.
He limits itself to the employment of the same keyword, which is placed in an often completely different semantic field, generating surprise in the addressee, thanks to the sudden change of tone. From a formal perspective, word-echo responses tend to employ two main strategies. SG-you harm!
SG good-your! SG This second structure is particularly suitable for curses and insults, since the sudden change of the context in which the keyword is used effectively bewilders the interlocutor, achieving the desired goal. In both cases, the addressee can refuse to acknowledge the existence of such a common ground between himself and the interlocutor, resorting, for instance, to the following insulting expression: A. PST Tripoli safe safe aunt-your say More important is the repetition of central key-words throughout a poem.
Also in this third case, thus, a verbal strategy which is commonly employed in everyday speech is deeply rooted in the shared rhetorical strategies of Semitic languages. Concluding remarks The previous pages contained a synthetic survey of four common verbal strategies employed in North African dialects of Arabic to enhance the effectiveness of insults and curses.
Curses, in particular, are rooted in the belief in the magic power of words. B, in facts, tells him to find his real paternal uncle, which means he is not sure who his father is, with the consequent offense to his mother. Following Ferguson b , close parallels have been found in the biblical Psalms, while the repetition of a keyword across different turns of speech also attested in the biblical text can be traced back at least to the Ugaritic epic poems.
References Boudelaa, Sami. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Some Universals in Language Usage. Aspects of verbal Politeness in Maghrebi Arabic Dialects. Naples: Unpublished PhD Dissertation. Unpublished PhD Dissertation. School of Oriental and African Studies. London: University of London. Ferguson, Charles. Leiden — New York — Koln: Brill. Al Jallad, Nader. Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag. Malinowski, Bronislaw.
Argonauts of the Western Pacific. Muilenburg, James. Ratcliffe, Robert. Allomorphy and analogy in non-concatenative morphology. Stewart, Devin J. A language is not a uniform, immutable block but varies over time, in diachrony.
Each language changes in the lexicon and its structures in relation to the passage of time and to the changes that take place in culture and society. Over time, vulgar or offensive language has evolved Allan, Burridge: The curse expressions or coarse words are an aspect of the linguistic creativity of the Arabs and belong most of all to the domain of orality Zawrotna: The language of young people and adolescents, in general, is made up of a very expressive nonconformist vocabulary sometimes imbued with highly colloquial, even vulgar terms and not very comprehensible for those who are not part of the group.
Youth language seems to change very rapidly: some terms attested in a certain period seem to be obsolete just a few years later. There are not many studies on youth language in the Arab world, especially in the Mashreq area. The present research, which also takes into consideration previous works, is based on a collection of data deriving from oral and written sources of the Mashreq area. The oral sources are made up of interviewees aged between 18 and 30 years of Egyptian origin.
The written sources consist of the texts of rap songs from the Syro- Lebanese area. This kind of text has been selected because rap is a typically youthful artistic expression and therefore uses a sometimes even irreverent youth language. Introduction Communication between young people is constantly evolving; the phenomenon of youth terminology comprises one of the social elements in the natural process of language change.
The language of young people and adolescents, in general, is made up of a very expressive nonconformist vocabulary, sometimes imbued with highly colloquial, even vulgar terms1, which renders it difficult to understand for those who are not part of the group. This language originates in different social stratifications, sometimes they are the product of small groups of friends. Other terms come from popular films and songs, and also from the mass media.
However, all of the terms 1 However, it should be emphasized that although highly ostentatious and expressive terminology is particularly frequent among young people and adolescents, it is not always exclusive to the juvenile lexicon. No good definition of slang is available in the literature. The widespread attitude of some Arab intellectuals, among others, is to deplore the new terminology, that is described as a form of social decadence.
Previous studies on youth language Studies on youth language2 in the Arab world are small. The debate concerns the contemporary state of Arabic in relation to diglossia, the infiltration of foreign languages, especially English and the increase of slang among the younger generations. There are several studies about the language of Egyptian youth from a sociolinguistic point of view; these include descriptions of some of the new slang vocabulary.
There are also lexicons which contain older and newer slang. The appearance of new terms in the Cairo dialect has inspired many discussions both linguistically and culturally. In his study, Rosenbaum demonstrates the use of elements of slang in modern Egyptian writing. He states that written discourse always reflects societal linguistic conventions, which are not fixed, but which change over time. Thus, he expounds, the more permissive nature of Western society is reflected in its use of slang and coarse language, which have entered the literature.
Similarly, in the generally more restrictive Arab society, where such language is taboo, the literature reflects this, by its exclusion. Peterson , in his study on youth terminology in Cairo, highlights lexical loans mainly from English, the derivations from Arabic and the new usage of the standard Arabic vocabulary. The terms collected by the scholar are specific to Cairo, although they have their equivalents also in other areas and dialects. She states that youth terminology in the Arab world is characterized, for the most part, by internal changes to the language.
These two variables influence the linguistic behavior of the speakers in an interesting way. The language of women has fewer new terms and those same women choose not to use them, perceiving them as obscene. Another study on the language of teenagers was carried out by Allam , who examines the new youth vocabulary of Cairo. He takes into account twenty words, which mostly express an intensification of a good or bad rating of someone or something.
He classifies the expressions into three groups: those that exist both in standard and in slang and that have the same meaning; those that exist both in the standard and in the slang and have different meanings, and those without an origin in the standard and that exist only in the slang. Allam also provides another type of grouping based on the understanding of these words by a group of older individuals.
Unlike the unanimous understanding of these slang words by young people, a great disparity has been found in the understanding of some terms by older individuals. Another difference that Allam underlines is the use of some terms between young people and older people.
While almost all terms are used by the vast majority of young people, 12 of the 20 terms are not used by the older generation, while the rest of the terms are used only by very few of the individuals interviewed. The non-use of these terms, even if understood by adults, gives a clear indication of the function of slang, that is to reinforce a sense of group identity within a social group.
In Egypt the interest in this variety of language culminated in a two-volume dictionary, whose first edition dates back to The second edition of contains more lexis, expressions and sentences than the first. His article entitled Studies in folklore includes a dictionary of the ungrammatical language and the slang of the workers in use among the common people in Egypt. This includes not only youth speech, but also the language used by pickpockets, thieves, artists, drug addicts, jewelers, beggars, criminals, belly dancers and their male assistants, usually gay, actors, musicians, and other categories.
In , The Gulf a United Arab Emirates newspaper4 reported on the widespread use of youth speech in some Gulf states. There are several studies about youth language in the North African area. Bevacqua carried out a study on the language of Tunisian young people in which he demonstrates how the Tunis dialect integrates French loans used in youth language; the research shows that loans undergo phonological and morphological changes. Among the other sources on youth language and diachronic aspects in North Africa, the work of Ritt-Benmimoun , composed of several contributions, focuses on common trend and language developments of Tunisian and Libyan Arabic dialects.
Considerations about the corpus The present research, which also takes into consideration previous works, is based on a collection of data deriving from oral and written sources of the Mashreq area. As regards the oral sources, they comprise participants aged between 18 and 30 years of Egyptian origin. The terms consist of names, adjectives, verbs, sentences, and idioms.
The terminology generally tends to describe people and situations. In this work only part of the collected data will be reported. As regards the written sources, they consist of the texts of rap songs from the Syro- Lebanese area. This type of text was selected because rap is a typically youthful artistic expression and therefore uses youth language, which is sometimes even irreverent.
Here the texts of two singers, one male and one female, representative of the rap genre were selected. Although rap songs may be considered written sources, as they are endowed with texts, they are characterized by a language which is very close to spontaneous locution.
Oral sources Juvenile terminology, related to standard Arabic through derivations of existing roots and semantic re-adaptations, is used in spoken language. In the Arabic world characterized by diglossia, slang is used in the dialectal variant, the register of the language used, mostly, at the oral level.
In the present study the data provided by the young Egyptian participants partly confirm and partly contradict data from previous studies, because youth terminology changes rapidly: some terms used fifteen years ago are no longer common today. The research shows that a minor part of terms are loans, in particular from English, while the majority of terms are created through the use of standard Arabic with new meanings.
Most of the lexicon in youth terminology is composed of three consonants roots. These roots often correspond to roots already existing in Arabic, whether modern standard Arabic or Egyptian Arabic. Also in reference to car models, youth language is very creative. The young Egyptians interviewed reported: al-qirda lit.
Youth language is common in universities and other institutions, in streets, markets, and venues. By taking a quick look at contemporary discourse, the language of young Arabs is further evolving because of the influx of new media. In this context, most words are taken from English.
In communications through new technologies, the transfer of typical oral discourse into written discourse is taking place and the traditional division between written and spoken is becoming narrower. For more research on juvenile language also on websites it is possible to find all the latest fashions and trends in relation to the language.
Written sources Although slang is used mostly in spoken discourse, there are also cases of its use at the written level: examples can be found in some newspaper articles, humorous vignettes and some literary texts. However, the use of the colloquial as a written language sometimes does lead to the use of slang elements in both literary and semi-literary texts».
So words and expressions of youth language can be found even within artistic forms, such as the texts of songs. Examples of it are predominant in rap song lyrics, in which youth dissent in the Arab world is expressed through strong language, marked at times by vulgar slang. Miller and Caubet observe for Morocco that the transposition of vulgarity into the artistic domain is associated with male rap artists.
Despite this, unlike the American hip-hop culture, recourse to foul language is more contained among the Arab rappers, as local norms and traditions are taken into consideration. Rappers, in the Arab world, adapt their songs to the local situation, so it can be argued that the Arab-Islamic cultural context can influence language and themes 6. So the singers use expressions of offensive language and curses used in everyday life more than vulgar terms.
Referring to the Syro-Lebanese area, the texts of two singers are taken into consideration. Within his texts he recurs to curse expressions. Vu lgar language can be seen as normal and therefore perceived in a way that is not as offensive as it can be in another culture. In the lyrics of this singer there are also terms deriving from linguistic loans used mostly, but not only, in youth speech.
The second singer considered is Malikah11, a famous Lebanese rapper. She always sings in Arabic and sometimes employs even vulgar language to express her ideas and to create a public reaction. In rap the linguistic differences linked to gender can be unhinged in a sort of equality of roles in the function of denunciation that the artist covers. In the hip hop scenario, rappers tend to follow a masculine jargon and a style characterized by direct language and strong expressions.
Presumably this could be the result of male dominance in the rap scene in which the artists work, but also a consequence of the possibilities and freedom offered by the rap at the level of communication, providing them with a public space in which to express themselves and to affirm their identity and their own thoughts. Conclusion A language is not a uniform block, immutable but varies over time, in diachrony. In general, the data provided show that youth terminology is the result of changes within the language: through the collected data, we state that the most common method of creating youth terminology consists in the mechanism of using standard Arabic with new meanings.
Some terms resulting from the reported data show the close link between juvenile terminology and standard Arabic. However, this fact disturbs a part of society because young people alter the precise meaning and use of the lexicon.
Changes in language are considered deviations or corruptions not only at the linguistic level but also at cultural values. Moreover, where speech requires it, offensive and curse expressions are taken from the quotidian and colloquial language. Linguistic loans are also used, above all to emphasize certain concepts or for ironic ends.
Loans from English are employed mostly in the information technology sphere. Some of my participants were proud of being the creators of the new terms. Others use the new terminology as an attempt to impress others. Linguistic variation can be used as an important means of formation, affirmation and transmission of socio-cultural identity.
Therefore, the language of young people is not a niche phenomenon in the Arab world and has gained importance acquiring its status and forming linguistic and sociolinguistic rules. This is evident in the continuous documentation and classification of its own vocabulary and in the public attention to this form of language, although studies in this regard are still rather scarce, especially in some Arab countries.
References Andersson, L. Bad Language, London: Penguin Books. Allam, J. Badawi, E. A Dictionary of Egyptian Arabic. Bevacqua, M. Studi arabo-islamici in onore di Wasim Dahmash. Roma: Aracne. There are several agencies which provide dissertation writing services to the students.
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