Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.8 Number.2 June, 2017                                                       Pp. 398-414

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Aspects of Taboos Surrounding Algerian Females’ Daily Issues and Language  

  Faculty of Letters and Languages
Tahar Mouley University, Saida, Algeria




The present article focuses on gender differences in using some types of taboos. In this sense, it explores the world of Arab women and investigates aspects of taboos surrounding their issues and language use. In other terms, the focal point of this paper is centered on the linguistic devices that females employ to express taboos. This paper also evaluates women’s discourse and the reasons that keep their lives surrounded by mystery and ambiguity. Hence, Arab females’ issues and language are investigated in the light of the stereotypes Westerners have about the Islamic religious beliefs. Our study further explores the lexicon related to females’ topics like virginity, menstruation, menopause and their body parts. To this vein, a thorough examination was made depending on the informants’ gender, age and their sociocultural background with the support of a structured questionnaire, a focus group interview and participant observation. The findings demonstrate that Algerian females’ issues are directed by the cultural norms of their society. The results also reveal that speakers resort to euphemistic strategies to speak about women’s private lives, although Algerian dialects are rich in euphemistic expressions related to females’ sensitive issues.
Keywords: Algerian society, females’ tabooed issues, social norms, taboos

Cite as: GHOUNANE, N. (2017). Aspects of Taboos Surrounding Algerian Females’ Daily Issues and Language. Arab World English Journal, 8 (2).


Dr. Nadia GHOUNANE is a researcher in Language Contact and Sociolinguistic Variation and a
full time teacher in Dr. Mouley Tahar Saida University, Algeria, her areas of interest include
teaching phonetics, sociolinguistics, grammar and written expression. Her journal articles address
the use of taboos and euphemisms in Muslim societies and eroticism in Arabic literature.