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Sociolinguistic Study of Taboos in Chinese and Igbo Language. 伊博语与汉语中的语言禁忌研究。
  • Okafor Miracle Uzochukwu
Okafor Miracle Uzochukwu

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The universality of linguistic taboo suggests that almost all languages have words and expressions that are regarded as unsuitable for general use; or themes and topics that are generally not supposed to be mentioned. Therefore, this paper explores the Igbo and Chinese linguistic taboos in cross-cultural communication based on the theories of context and cross-cultural communication. The main objective of this study is to explore all the linguistic taboos that exist in Chinese and Igbo language, and further unfold how to establish a healthy and efficient cross-cultural communication with others to reduce misunderstanding. A descriptive research design was adopted; the data collection was by personal observation (being an Igbo and have lived in China for 6 years), oral interview, and review of literature. Chinese linguistic taboos examined include taboos relating to death, numbers, appellation, eating, gender, sex/ sex organs, disease taboo, and excretion, while Igbo linguistic taboos are related to disease/calamity, dead/death, animals, religion, appellation, and sex/parts of the body. To help reduce or avoid the violation of Chinese or Igbo taboos and improve cross-cultural communication, there is great need to strengthen the study and accumulation of the target culture, gradually enhance the awareness and sensitivity of cultural differences, pay attention to the cultivation of cross-cultural thinking