Friday, March 21, 2014

Research Part 1: Topic Materialization

Actually, it's already the end of Week 3. Haha. Can I go cry now? Sorry, Dr Aziah. I will try my best to catch up with the others. :'D

So basically, I've spent my whole degree years researching/studying on the technical/syntactical part of the language. My topic for AE was even on ESL grammar, so I think I should do something different for my Master's thesis. Hence came the interest to look into the psychological aspect of language, particularly English.

That's still a bit broad, so I started Googling. Google suggested doing a study on learner's belief, but I find that topic a bit stale (no offence). Then I remembered how I love watching South Park and I kind of picked bits of pieces of English from the cartoon (and not to mention a lot of political and cultural knowledge, too).

(in case you are wondering what South Park is)

So, I was thinking, can't that cartoon be put to good use, i.e. to teach English? But then I realized there's just too much vulgarity in that cartoon (seriously, if you are a no-nonsense type of person, I suggest you refrain yourself from watching it) so it proved impossible to use as an AVA in schools.

Then again, my dilemma was why are we refrained from learning about swear words and the likes? This is starting to get a bit controversial so let me explain. For years, I've been thinking, we always refrain our children from swearing, yet we swear freely because we are adults. Furthermore, men are generally accepted when it comes to swearing, as opposed to the females. Why is this so? It's not like swear words are going to limit our linguistic knowledge. What is the role of vulgarity in our language? There's so many unanswered questions!

So, this is actually a problem/concern I am interested in, and it kind of involves sociolinguistics, so I tried Googling again. Sadly, no research has ever been done on this, but I stumbled on something else.

Google suggested "language and emotions" and it quickly drew my attention.

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