Aspects of Taboos Surrounding Algerian Females’ Daily Issues and Language

Author: Nadia Ghounane




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). DOI: