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语言文化论文-政治委婉语及其修辞应用.doc

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语言文化论文-政治委婉语及其修辞应用.doc

语言文化论文政治委婉语及其修辞应用AbstractEuphemismisderivedfromtaboo,whichisusedtodescribesomethinginappropriatetotalkaboutdirectlyincommunication.Itisaculturalphenomenonaswellasarhetoricaldevice.Itisalsoaproperlanguagepatternpeoplecreatedinsocialcommunicationinordertomakethecommunicationeffective.Itplaysanimportantroleinourdailylife.Themostimportantsocialfunctionsofeuphemismareevasivefunction,politefunctionandcosmeticfunction.Politicaleuphemismisatypeofeuphemism,soithasthefeatureofeuphemism.Politicaleuphemismisusedwidelybypoliticians,throughwhichtheycandelivertheirrealinformationinamildwaywithoutanyharshness.Thisarticlewillmakeanintroductionoftheorigin,socialfunctionsandtheapplicationofeuphemisms,andthendiscussrespectivelythepoliticaleuphemismsusedininternalandinternationalaspectandtherhetoricalapplicationofpoliticaleuphemisms.KeyWordssocialfunctionpoliticaleuphemismrhetoricalapplication【摘要】委婉语起源于民俗禁忌,人们在交际中用来描述不宜直言的人或事物,既是一种修辞手法,又是一种文化现象。委婉语又是人们在社会交际中为谋求理想的交际效果而创造的一种适当的语言形式。它在生活中发挥着十分重要的交际功能。最主要的有避讳功能,礼貌功能,掩饰、美化功能。政治委婉语是委婉语的一个范畴,沿袭了普通委婉语的特征,广为政治家们所用。它使政治家们得以一种温和、不带任何刺激性的表达方式传递其真正的信息。本文将从委婉语的起源、社会功能、修辞入手,分别阐述政治委婉语的国际国内使用情况和政治委婉语修辞应用。【关键词】社会功能政治委婉语修辞应用1.Introduction1.1ThedefinitionofeuphemismTheEnglishwordeuphemismderivedfromtheGreekwordeuphemismos,whichmeansfairspeech.Theprefixeumeansgood,soundingwell,andphememeanssayingorspeech.Sotheliteralmeaningofeuphemismistospeakwithgoodwordsorinapleasantmanner.InthebookofModernLinguistics,itisdefinedasamild,indirectorlessoffensivewordorexpressionsubstitutedwhenthespeakerorwriterfearsmoredirectwordingmightbeharsh,unpleasantlydirectoroffensive.11.2TheoriginofeuphemismTotracethebeginningofeuphemisms,wecantneglecttaboo.Inprimitivesociety,peoplecouldntexplainsuchthingsasdeath,ailmentsandsomesupernaturalphenomena.TheyalsohadconfusionbetweenthenamesofthingsandthethingsthemselvesThenameisviewedasanextensionofthethings.JustastheidiomsaysSpeakofthedevilandheappears.Naturallythewordsorthephrasesrelatedtotheseunexplainablethingsbecametaboos.Forordinarypeople,thesafestwaytoavoidmentioningthesethingsthattheyhavetomentioninmanycircumstancesistouseanothernameeuphemismstoreplacethetruenameofsuchathing.Inmanycultures,thenamesofgodsanddevilsaretaboos.Inordertoavoidmentioningthemdirectly,peopleusegoshorgollyinsteadofGodanddickenoroldNickinsteadofthedevil.Therefore,wecansafelystatethattheexistenceoftaboowordsortabooideasstimulatesthecreationofeuphemisms.Inourmodernsociety,however,thereligiousandsuperstitiousrelicsstillexist.Buttoalargerextent,euphemismismostlymotivatedbypeoplesfearofdeath.Thusitisnowonderthatsuchalargenumberofeuphemismsaboutdeathexistdepart,decease,passaway,etc.Inshort,euphemismoriginatesfromtaboo.Becauseofthepsychologyoffear,peopledarenotorwouldrathernotcallsomethingbynamedirectly.Ifsuchunpleasantthingshavetobementioned,peopleworkoutindirecttermstoreplacethem.Thuseuphemismscomeintobeing.Usingeuphemismsgivespeopleafeelingthattheyaresomewhatdistantfromwhattheyfear,andresortingtoeuphemismsseemstobeaguaranteeoftheirsafety,happiness,healthandgoodluck.1.3ThesocialfunctionsofeuphemismFromtheoriginofeuphemism,wecanseethattheoriginalfunctionofeuphemismistobeusedintalkingabouttaboos.Inourdailylife,therearesometabooedthingsthatarebelievedtobedangeroustocertainindividuals,ortothesocietyasawhole,ortobedisgustingandunpleasantandcausefear.Suchtaboothingsincludedisease,disabilities,death,sex,bodyexcretionandbodyeliminationprocess,etc.Peoplecanuseeuphemismstotalkaboutwhatcannotbetalkedabout.Withthedevelopmentofoursociety,somenewfunctionscameintobeingduringthecommunicationinthecivilizedsociety.Inourdailycommunication,besides,tabootopics,thereareothersensitiveandunpleasanttopicswhichwedonotfeelliketalkingaboutdirectly,suchasoccupation,appearance,formofaddress,socialstatus,poverty,murder,andsoon.Ifwetalkaboutsuchthingsdirectly,wemayfeelormakeothersfeelembarrassedorunhappy.Suchpsychologyincommunicationresultsinanotherfunctionofeuphemism,thatistoshowpolitenessandconcealfeelings.Forinstance,unemploymentandpovertyareverydreadfulthingsnowadays.Inthemodernwayofthinking,tomentionsomebodysunemploymentandpovertyistospeakpejorativelyofhiscondition.Sothereplacementsforthemkeepappearing.Themiserablefactofunemploymentissaidtobeinvoluntarilyleisured,betweenjobs,etc.Thepoorbecomestheunderprivileged,andthedisadvantaged.InChinese,wereferto失业as下岗,炒鱿鱼被裁掉as给优化掉,etc.Andthepooraredescriedas拮据,手头紧,手头不便,囊中羞涩,etc.Fromtheaboveexampleswecanseethateuphemismscanhelptokeepusmoredistantfromtheunpleasantreality,orinotherwords,theharshtruthhasbeenconcealedtoacertainextent,thatistosay,inreality,euphemismsarealsooftenusedtocoverthetruth.Theeuphemismsrelatedtopoliticsgivenexcellentexplanationforthis.Forexample,theWatergateScandalmadepeoplemoresensitivetopoliticallanguage.Itbecamenecessarytouseeuphemismstomakethesensitivepoliticalconceptssoftenedandvague.Hence,theCaperincidentsubstitutedphonestaps,gothehangoutroadfortellthetruth,andstonewallforflatlyrefusetocooperate.2GeorgeOrwellonceillustratedthebitterironyofsuchlinguisticphenomenon,politicallanguageisdesignedtomakeliessoundtruthfulandmurderrespectable,andtogiveanappearanceofsoliditytopurewind.Basedontheabovedescriptionsaboutthesocialfunctionsofeuphemisms,wecanmakethegeneralizationsasfollows1Euphemismsnotonlyhelpthespeakeravoidtalkingaboutthedreadfulorembarrassedthingsdirectly,butalsohelpthespeakerorthelistenerfeelrelaxedtalkingaboutthethingsthatmightprobablymakehim/herappeardisgracedorembarrassedifspokendirectly.2Euphemismsareusedtocoverupthetruenatureofevents,deceivingthepublicwithnicesoundingandpseudotechnicalwork,andinthemeanwhileitalsocanhelpsomepeopleavoidtalkingaboutsensitivethingsdirectlysothattheycanescapetheirdueresponsibility,evenpunishment.1.4.Rhetoricalapplicationofeuphemism1.4.1.ThedefinitionofrhetoricBeforewestudytherhetoricalapplicationofeuphemism,itisnecessarytomakeclearwhatisrhetoric.Rhetoricistheartofusinglanguageimpressivelyandpersuasively,esp.inpublicspeaking.OxfordAdvancedLearnersEnglishChineseDictionary,4thedition.WhetherSpeakingorwriting,onehastogetoneselfacrosseffectively,i.e.,tobeeloquent,accurate,impressive,persuasiveandexpressive.Thestudyofhowtoexpressoneselfeffectively,generallyspeaking,isthemainconcernofrhetoric.1.4.2.RhetoricalapplicationofeuphemismWhenweuseeuphemisms,wealsohavetothinkabouthowtoexpressourideaseffectively.Soweshouldmakeuseoftherhetoricaldevice.3TherhetoricaldevicesfrequentlyusedareasfollowingiMetaphorWiththisfigureofspeech,theeuphemismalwaysseemstoberomanticsothatthestyleofthelanguagemaychangealot.TherearenumerouseuphemisticwordsfordieinEnglish.Actuallysomeofthemarevividandinformalmetaphor.Forinstance,gotohislonghome,gotosleepforeverandceasetothink,etc.iiMetonymyMetonymyisafigureofspeechinwhichthenameofonethingisusedtostandforanotherthing.Thetwothingsinvolvedinametonymyarenotofthesamekindbutarecloselyrelated.Euphemismmakesagooduseofit.Forinstance,somepartofhumanbodyareofteneuphemizedwithawholepartforaveryspecialone,whichisnotsuitabletomentiondirectly,suchaslowerparts,orpartbelowforsecretparts,upperpartsforbreasts,etc.iiiSynecdocheSomeeuphemismsareinventedbysynecdoche,atropewhichisafigurebywhichamorecomprehensivetermisusedforlesscomprehensiveorviceversaaswholeforpartorpartforwhole,agenusforspeciesorspeciesforgenus,etc.OxfordDictionaryForinstance,Hehasasmoothtongue,infact,means,Heistalkative.ivPersonificationSomeunpleasantthingsaregivenhumancharacteristicsorhumannamestoachieveavivideffect.Examples1PersonifiedeuphemismsfordrugsBigHarryforheroin,MissEmmaformorphine,MaryJaneformarijuana,etc.2PersonifiedeuphemismsforbathroomJohnAm.E.,jakes,SirJohnMrs.Tones,Aunte.g.togotoonesAuntusedbyfemaleonly,etcvPeriphrasisPeriphrasis,ascircumlocution,referstoathingnamedinaroundaboutway.Rawsonsuggeststhelongertheeuphemisms,thebetter.Theyhavemoresyllables,andfrequently,twoormorewordswillbedeployedinplaceofasingleone.Forinstance,trousersdoesnotsoundwell,sonethergarmentsreplacesit.Fartistoounpleasanttotheear,sopeoplesayitaswindfrombehind.viUnderstatementUnderstatementisafigureofspeechinwhichanideaisdeliberatelyexpressedtooweakly.Itisusedtoplaydownortominimizetheimportanceofsomething.Itisusuallyemployedinthreewayslitotes,meiosisandovertones.Litotesisunderstatementbydenyingthecontraryofthethingbeingaffirmed.Itistheuseofnegativeformforpositiveideaswhenthespeakerwishestoweakenhistoneofcommentonsomething.Forexample,weoftenuseunwiseinsteadofstupidimpoliteinsteadofrude.viiIronyIronyisafigureofspeechinwhichtheintendedmeaningofthewordsusedisthedirectoppositeoftheirusualsense.Forexample,whensomeonehatestheweather,whichspoilshistripandsays,Whatafinedayheisironical.Someintimatefeelingsorbadthingsareexpressedresortingtoirony,afigureofspeechinwhichthemeaningliterallyexpressedistheoppositeofthemeaningindicatedandaimsathumororsarcasmandavoidhurtingothersbydirectexpressions.Incertaincontext,itcanholdthereadersattentionanddeepenitsimpression,therefore,aPleasanteffectcouldbeachieved.ExamplesMinistryofDefenseisinfactreferredtoMinistryofWar,therealmeaningoflifeinsuranceisinsurancewhenyouaredead,andfreedomfighterissubstitutedforterrorists.2.Politicaleuphemism2.1.IntroductionPoliticsisafertileareaforthegrowthofeuphemisms,whicharecosmeticinexpressionbutdeceptiveinnature.Euphemismsofthiskindarealwaysusedconsciouslyanddeliberately.Euphemismsusedinpoliticalissuesaremainlyseenintheinternalandinternationalaspects.2.1.1InternalaspectIninternalaspect,politicaleuphemismsareusedforsomesocialproblemssuchaspoverty,unemployment,crimeandracism,andtheactivitiesofthepoliticalorganizationandsoon,whicharecosmetic.Inordertocovertheproblemsofpovertyandunemployment,etc,thegovernmentcontinuouslycreatedeuphemismsservingforhispoliticalpurpose.Forexample,inAmerica,thepooriscalledasthedeprived,manofmodestmeans,thelesswelloff,andthepoorareaastheinnercity,etc.Andlosejobsbecomebetweenjobs,fireemployeesbecomedownsizingorRIFreductioninforce,lackofjobsecurityisreferredtoasjobflexibility.InBritain,theunemployedcanenjoythehalfpricefilmticketortheatreticket,onlybecausetheyarethelessfortunate.Whenthewesterncountrieswereinthebeginningof20thcentury,therelationbetweenthelaborersandthecapitalistwasverytense,andstrikebecomeaserioussocialproblem.Inordertocoverthecontradiction,strikewasreferredtoasindustrialdispute,boycottclassesasstudentunrest,anddropasadjustmentdownward.4Americaisacountrypoundofitsperfectlawsystem,however,itisalsoacountryfilledwithallkindsofsocialcrime.Inordertoavoidthosedisgracedsayings,euphemismsarefrequentlyused.Forinstance,stealiscalledastohook,topalm,toworkthehole,towalkawaywithtorobberyisreferredtoastoclip,toputthearmon,tobreakajugtomurderisreferredtoastocrossout,todisappear,todieinanecktie,togocoolpunishmentbecomestodropintothebucket,dotime,towalkthelastmile.5P47ThewordniggerwhichisfullofracialdiscriminationandhasabadconnotationisreplacedbyNegroandthencolored,blackandnowAfroAmerican.Somepoliticalorganizationsalsoprefertouseeuphemisms.InAmerica,theactivityoftheFBIorganizationoftenbecriticizedandsatirized.Peopleespeciallydisagreedwiththeirsearchingactivities,whichinvadehumanrights.Inordertocovertheirillegalactivity,theinvestigatorsoftheorganizercreatedandchangedthespeechtheyused,usingaseriesofeuphemisms,suchastechnicaltrespasses,surreptitious,uncontestedphysicalsearches,andwarrantlessinvestigations,etc,allofwhich,infact,aretheeuphemismofbreakin.AftertheAmericanpresidentReaganwintheelection,hesetabouttodealwiththecountrysfinancialproblem.Heappealedrevenueenhancements.Infact,itistaxincrease,whichruncountertocuttaxeshepromisedduringtheelection.Theeuphemismusedherevaguehistrueintentionabstractlyandfuzzily.6Therearealsosomeotherpoliticaleuphemismsusedtocoverthepoliticalscandals.Forexample,lieisreferredtoaslessthantruthful,prevaricate,inoperativeillegalisreferredtoasinappropriateTherearealotofeuphemismsproducedduringtheWatergatescandalaboutpresidentNixoninAmericaof20thcentury1970s.Forinstance,plumberisreferredtoasintelligencestealer,eavesdropasintelligencegathering,theschemeofeavesdropasscenario,andeventhescandalbecameevent.Inmodernsociety,socialproblemsarenumerous,soitiswithChina.Toreassureandpacifythepublic,thegovernmentjustmakessuchremarksas我们绝大多数党员干部是廉洁自律的,这样的人在我们的干部队伍中只是极少数,问题是有的,但成绩是主要的,主流是好的etc.Fordiplomatictalks,wehavesuchremarksas双方进行了建设性的会谈,双方就共同关心的问题坦率地交换了意见,总之,双方的会谈是有益的和富有建设性的etc.Alltheseindicatethatbothsidesarequitefarfromreachingagreementconcerningcertainissues.Thesevagueremarksjustconcealthefactoftruthandservecertainpoliticalpurpose.Politicaleuphemismalsohaspositivefunction.Ininternalaspect,theuseofpoliticaleuphemismisembodiedinthetalkbetweendifferentparties.Theproperpoliticaleuphemismscanenhancethefriendlyrelationshipandkeepafriendlyatmosphere.Taiwanproblemisatypicalexampleofthiskind.InOctober,1995,whenchairmanJiangZeminwasinterviewedbytheAmericanjournalists,hesaidthat,我们一贯主张和平统一,一国两制,但是如果台湾岛内分裂主义势力搞台湾

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