A Sociolinguistic Study of the Euphemistic and Idiomatic Expressions Used in HIV/AIDS Speech in Setswana

Herman M. Batibo, Margaret M. Kopi


Given that HIV/AIDS is a new phenomenon in the Setswana culture and way of life, and in view of its complex social and psychological impact on the people, the people of Botswana, through their social interactions, have formed or adopted new terms to capture the various concepts. The study reveals that many neologisms have emerged to refer to the new concepts relating to HIV/AIDS and related phenomena. Most of these neologisms are either euphemistic or idiomatic. Moreover, the study is able to determine the nature of attitudes, which have been formed by the speakers, and how such attitudes have had a bearing on their sexual behaviour and their reaction to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

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