Types of Impolite Utterances Found in the Glagolitic Graffiti in Beram

Gordana Čupković
The author studies the types of impolite utterances found in the Glagolitic graffiti that were inscribed on the frescos in the church of Saint Mary on Skrilinah in Beram in the 16th century. In the historic context, the following impolite utterances can be identified and defined: verbal offences directed at Jews, verbal offences directed at neighbours and representatives of the authorities and mock-verbal offences used in mutual žakni communication. Various interactive iconographic expressives are added to the verbal offenses: the hierarchic spacing/positioning of the frescos anticipates the spectator’s reaction, who, besides writing verbal offenses, reacts by graphically disfiguring the faces painted in the “soft” gothic style. The author questions to which degree the verbal offences can be defined as impolite utterances with descriptive meanings assigned to a specific ethnic or social group and to which degree they can be defined as general and hence descriptively unmarked expressives.
Key words
derogatory words; expressives; graffiti; iconographic; frescos; Glagolitic
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