Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Foreign Languages, Kharazmi University

2 Assistant Professor, Department of English, Imam Khomeini International University and Islamic Azad University, Qazvin

3 Associate Professor, English Department, Tarbiat Modares University


In spite of the significance, frequency, and function of swearing in many discourse communities and cultures, swear speech act has not been adequately studied with regard to Linguistics and Sociolinguistics theories and concepts such as “Speech Act Theory” and “Communities of Practice.” The current qualitative and quantitative study investigated swearing in the modern computer and cellphone market of Iran. We employed interviews and specially-developed questionnaires (with reference to sociolinguistic variables such as age, gender, appearance and membership status in the community) to tap into the swearing types and functions in the modern market as well as its members’ linguistics behaviors, perceptions and approaches. The results of content and statistical analyses of both religious and non-religious types of swearing suggest that, despite the high frequency of swearing in this community of practice, this speech act does not usually have a commissive, (per)-locutionary function; it can even backfire and suggest dishonesty and infelicity. The findings, the conclusions and possible applications are elaborated and discussed considering the literature, religious and cultural explanations, and the requirements of the modern market community of practice.


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