Taboo words, Euphemisms and Language change

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An analysis of how taboo words and euphemisms on death and sexuality affects the meanings of various words in Ndebele Language

This thesis analyses the influence of taboo words and euphemisms on language change.

It argues that the presence of taboo words and euphemisms in Ndebele language often results in changes in the meaning of words.

It is observed that changes that occur on the meaning of such words are often a result of the Ndebele people's perception of the referred subjects.

Thus it is argued that language change can be influenced by the culture of a people.

As a result the affected words may be extended, that is broadening the meaning, or the meaning may be narrowed.

Words may also become unfavorable and fall off.

The subjects of death and sexuality are used to demonstrate the changes in meanings of words.

These are subjects that are surrounded by a lot of taboo words and euphemisms and the nature of such subjects calls for the use of avoidances.

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