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Verbala förolämpningar i 1630-talets Uppsala: En historisk talaktsanalys
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2011 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Verbal Insults in Uppsala during the 1630s : A Historical Speech Act Analysis (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates verbal insults recorded in judicial protocols in the Swedish university townUppsaladuring the 1630s. The aim of the study is to analyze insults as linguistic formulations and social acts in Early Modern Swedish society. The methodology of the study is guided by speech act theory and ethnography of communication in order to examine the lexical realizations of insults and verbal action in different speech communities.

From a total of 652 protocols in two series of records from the city court and the university council inUppsalain the 1630s, sections of text were excerpted that registered insults. The material under investigation comprises 179 cases that contained 276 insults. The descriptive meta-linguistic expressions for insults are rich as well as varied, and the performed insults are reported with or without invectives and as direct or indirect speech.

Clear patterns emerged in the investigation by performing various semantic-, pragmatic-, and discourse-level analyses of the judicial records. Insults among city people were commonly interpreted as truth-conditional representative speech acts and thereby were viewed as false accusations of various kinds. In the academic world, however, the truth value of the insult was of minor importance. The speech act was regarded mainly as an expressive utterance of anger and frustration.

Through a comparison of the city and university judicial records, it is shown that the patterns of insults reveal a general semantic process in which primarily concrete, objective meanings come to fulfill increasingly interpersonal and pragmatic speech functions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för nordiska språk, Uppsala universitet , 2011. , 272 p.
Skrifter utgivna av Institutionen för nordiska språk vid Uppsala universitet, ISSN 0083-4661 ; 85
Keyword [en]
Early Modern Swedish, insults, speech acts, ethnography of communication, courtroom discourse, reported speech, illocutionary development, historical pragmatics
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156909ISBN: 978-91-506-2231-7OAI: diva2:433855
Public defence
2011-09-24, Ihresalen, Engelska parken, Uppsala, 10:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2011-09-02 Created: 2011-08-11 Last updated: 2011-09-02Bibliographically approved

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