Euphemism From Sociolinguistics Perspective

Ren CHI, Yu HAO

Abstract


Euphemism is a proper language style that people pursue in social communication in order to reach an ideal communication effect. Euphemism can avoid and soften taboos and sensitive or awkward topics. In every stage and each country, euphemisms are widely used. Thus, the creation and usage of euphemism is a common phenomenon in human language. Because euphemism is used in certain community and is influenced by social-cultural factors, thus, it is heavily marked with social-cultural features. As a special language phenomenon, euphemism not only includes those euphemistic expressions accepted by community members, but also includes the euphemistic communication style that people adopt in specific environment. The use of euphemism varies with the gender, age, social status and occupation, etc., of the social members and euphemism covers various aspects of social culture, including social conventions, traditional morality, religion, social values and politics, etc., which shows that euphemism is deeply rooted in social culture. It is impossible to have a profound understanding of language without referring to social culture.

Keywords


Euphemism; Sociolinguistics; Culture

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References


Allan, K., & Burridge, K. (1991). Euphemism and dysphemism: Language used as shiled and weapon. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Linfoot-Ham, K. (2005). The linguistics of euphemism: A diachronic study of euphemism formation. Journal of Language and Linguistics, 4(2).

Rawson, H. (1981). A dictionary of euphemisms and other doubletalk. New York: Crown Publishers.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2F3898

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