Verbal aggression in the messages addressed to children
The problem of aggressive behaviour has been researched by psychologists, psychoanalysts and sociologists for the year dot. Verbal (indirect) aggression is an evident subject of interest of linguistics.
The article refers to some illocutionary acts of linguistic aggression used by adults in their contacts with children. Examples of such acts are the following: apparent forms of aggression (criticism and reprimand, condemnation and ridiculing), and also some implications of aggression, arguments (quarrel and dispute).
The sender of these acts is always an adult (mostly a parent), who has a right to judge and (if needed) to punish a child for a bad (contrary to the rules) behaviour, as he/she is of higher pragmatic rank.
The analysis of the given examples shows that the function of linguistic acts of aggression is, above all, giving vent to negative emotions of the speaker (= adult). The aggressive linguistic acts often perform a persuasive function, and such acts are elements of an educative process.