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You will identify a domain of taboo and/or avoidance in a language with which you are familiar. You will describe this domain (what words are avoided? what semantic domain is involved? what are the taboo-oriented practices used talk about this domain?) and also the metasemiotic discourse associated with it.
Method: You will combine direct observation with a study of metasemiotic discourse. For the first of these, you will make fieldnotes based on your observations in a range of different settings such as home, class, hanging out with friends online, and so on as well as “public” contexts such as radio journalism, television interviews and so on. Any occasion in which the form or practice is used counts as “direct observation” for this assignment. You want to ask: what forms do people use, when and with what effect? Try to note the particular form and the context in which it occurs – both the utterance context (i.e. write down the sentence in which the form occurs) and the social context (i.e. who is speaking to whom? for what reason? with what effect? and so on). For the study of metasemiotic discourse you can draw on online commentary and news, comedy routines, blog posts for non-native speakers, grammar books – anything in which the form or practice is mentioned.
Write-up: You do not need to use any SECONDARY sources (though if you do draw on others’ work you must cite it) but you must indicate the provenance of all examples (of both use and mention). The format for doing this is not important just as long as a reader could track down the source if they so wished (excepting examples drawn from your direct observation).
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