Glavni fokus ovoga rada bit će odnos između dvaju jedinstvenih lingvističkih fenomena – psovanja i idiomatičnosti. Iako se njihova određenja mogu smatrati jednostavnima i samorazumljivima, bilo bi ih pogrešno shvatiti na taj način želimo li uspostaviti sustav u kojem ćemo ih nastojati kritički usporediti. Da bismo ih razumjeli bolje, pokušat ćemo redefinirati osnove principe na kojima navedeni fenomeni počivaju te izdvojiti ključne značajke, što će nam u konačnici omogućiti da uspostavimo glavni teorijski okvir. Kao što smo već natuknuli, najvažniji element metodologije ovoga rada bit će svakako komparativna analiza, koja će uzeti u obzir idiomatske karakteristike psovanja u hrvatskom i u engleskom. Taj komparativni pristup omogućit će nam da proniknemo u individualne razlike u konceptualizaciji i ostvarivanju psovki u navedena dva jezika. Nadalje, najvažniji cilj ovoga rada bit će konstruiranje teorijskog sistema koji će nam dati uvid u fenomen psovanja na univerzalnoj razini, unatoč tome što polazna točka istraživanja proizlazi iz konkretnih primjera u danim jezicima.
The main focus of this paper is the relation between two unique linguistic phenomena – swearing and idiomaticity. Even though their respective definitions may seem simple and transparent, it would be a mistake to take them for granted if we want to establish a system in which we could be able to critically compare those two phenomena. In order to understand them better, we shall try to redefine their basic principles and extract the key characteristics, which will ultimately help us in the construction of the main theoretical framework. As we have already hinted, the most important element of our methodology will be the comparative analysis, which will primarily take into account the idiomatic characteristics in swearing in both English and Croatian. This comparative angle will mainly enable us to delve into the individual differences in the conceptualization and externalization of swearwords in the two afore-mentioned languages. However, the most important goal will be the formulation of a theoretical system which will allow us to understand swearing on a universal level, despite the fact that our starting point may be rooted in specific examples. One of the key theoretical tools in this paper will be the theory of lexical fields and its subsequent modifications. The
afore-mentioned theory is crucial as it introduces, among many other significant ideas, the distinction between lexical fields and conceptual fields. The former concept will be especially important, as it will allow us to delve deeper into the relation between single-word units and idioms. In this sense, discoveries regarding that relation will be applied to the study of swearwords as well. Another relevant linguistic theory that shall be examined in relation to swearwords is going to be Jakobson’s theory on the functions of language. The understanding of this issue is also connected to another major subject of our study – translation. In other words, the way swearwords are conceptualized is directly manifested in the discrepancy that can be observed in the translation of those words. This is the main reason why it is necessary to look further into the conceptualization, as it will help explain significant translation differences in English and Croatian when it comes to swearwords. Furthermore, this analysis also has practical use, as it is closely intertwined with new possibilities which aim to improve already existing methods in the translation of swearwords. Other than that, the paper will also try to situate the phenomenon of swearwords in terms of its linguistic position. That is, we shall try to utilise certain linguistic theories in order to see how the afore-mentioned phenomenon relates to them, especially when it comes the theory of speech act, since it is crucial to understand how swearwords impact the extralinguistic world. To do so, it is necessary to study mechanisms behind swearwords and their connection to idiomaticity as well as societal factors, such as norms and cultural peculiarities. These societal factors bring us to another important point in our discussion which is the impact that swearwords have when used, primarily their emotive potentials. Emotiveness and expressivity are key features when it comes to understanding swearwords, as they are often seen as the most prominent. The relation between those two traits of swearwords shall be re-examined and put into the theoretical frame of this paper. Moreover, these two features will also be the basis for yet another significant matter that will be discussed here – stylistics. The stylistics of swearwords is a complex and interesting topic as it covers a plethora of issues, ranging from the most common metaphor to the very unique occurrences specific to a particular language. The stylistic potential of swearing is also manifested in its private and public use, so a section of the paper shall extensively deal with swearwords as a rhetoric tool in order to show their effectiveness, as well as provide some appropriate examples. Finally, all these steps will allow us to reconsider swearwords in a new light and hopefully take a better look at their true nature.