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语言文化论文-浅析中英语言禁忌.doc

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语言文化论文-浅析中英语言禁忌.doc

语言文化论文浅析中英语言禁忌AbstractLanguage,asthecarrierofculture,iscreatedduringtheprocessofhumanbeingsproductivelaborandservesasthetoolofcommunicationtoconveythemessagebetweenpeople.However,ithasbeenendowedwithmagicandpowerinparticularlanguageacts.Astheoldsayinggoes,troublescomeoutofthetongue.Superstitiouspeoplethinkthatthelanguageitselfcanbringaboutfortuneormisfortunesothattaboostorestricttheuseoflanguagearecreated.Anyonewhoviolatesthemwillgetpunishment,whereasthosewhofaithfullyobeytherestrictionsoflanguagetaboowillgetprotection.Furthermore,linguistictabooschangewiththedevelopmentofsociety.Thepaperfirstlyanalyzestheevolutionoflinguistictaboo.Secondly,itisindicatedinthepaperthatlinguistictabooexistsinalmosteveryaspectofpeopleslifeandisauniversalsocialphenomenoninChinaandBritain.BothChineseandEnglishculturesareinagreementaboutlinguistictaboossuchaspronunciationtaboo,andvocabularytaboo.However,influencedbydifferentculturalbackgrounds,ideologiesandtheconceptsofvalue,ChineseandEnglishlinguistictaboosalsohavedifferences,asisdiscussedinthepaperfromtheaspectsoftaboosubjects,taboonumbersandnames.Atlast,thispaperputsforwardtwoeffectivewaysofavoidingtaboo,thatis,usingeuphemismandhavingagoodknowledgeofthetabooculture.AndthisdiscussionwouldhelpEnglishlearnersimprovetheirabilityofcrossculturalcommunicationandachievebettercommunicationaleffects.KeyWordslinguistictabooevolutionsimilaritiesdifferences【摘要】语言是人们在活动过程中产生和发展起来的一种社交工具,其功能就是沟通信息,但在特定的语言行为中,却被赋予了它自身所没有的超人的感觉和超人的力量。社会成员竟认为语言本身能给人类带来某种吉祥或不幸,人为地设置了种种语言禁区。他们相信谁要是违背这些语言禁忌,谁就会受到应有的惩罚。反之,谁要是忠实遵循了语言禁忌的约束,谁就会得到相应的庇护和保佑。语言禁忌会随着社会的发展而变化。本论文首先论述了语言禁忌的演变,接着提出语言禁忌存在于人们生活的各个方面,是一种普遍存在的社会现象。在汉英两种语言中,有些忌讳是一致的。文中分析了中英语言禁忌在语音层面、词汇方面的相似性。但是由于汉英民族文化背景、意识形态、价值观念等的不同,中英语言禁忌的内容和形式也有一些差异,因此本论文还探讨了中英语言禁忌在私人话题、数字和命名称谓方面的互异性。这些异同和发展演进往往会给跨文化交际带来一些障碍,为此,有效避免使用禁忌语的方法主要是使用委婉语代替禁忌词,并充分了解异国的文化背景。希望本论文的研究能帮助英语学习者加深英汉两种语言和文化的理解,提高跨文化交际能力,避免交际失败,达到理想的交际效果。【关键词】语言禁忌演变相似点不同点1.IntroductionItismanifestedinlanguagepersons,thingsandactivitiesthataretabooshouldnotbetalkedaboutorshouldbementionedinaroundaboutwayinlanguage.Wordsandexpressionsrelatedtothesesocialtaboosarelinguistictaboos.1TheabovedefinitionshowsthatLinguistictaboo,asanintegralpartoflanguage,isnotonlyalinguisticphenomenonbutalsoasocialphenomenon.Likeotherpartsoflanguage,theoriginoflinguistictabooisdeeplyrootedintheprimitivesocialandculturalbackgroundanditschangeisgreatlyinfluencedbythedevelopmentofhumansocietyinordertosatisfyhumanbeingsneedsforsmoothcommunications.Withtheadvancementofscienceandtechnology,manypuzzlesabouttheuniversearesolved,andwiththeincreaseofmaterialwealth,humandemandsforspiritualcivilizationarealsobecominghigher.Evidently,linguistictaboosareareflectionofthesesocialdevelopmentandthevalueconceptsandbeliefsofthecultureinwhichtheyareborn.Itexistsineveryaspectofpeopleslife.TherearesomesimilaritiesinEnglishandChineselinguistictaboo,butdifferentculturesmaynotallagreeonwhatisorisnotatabooinaspecificcontext.SothedifferencesalsoexistbetweenEnglishandChineselinguistictaboo.ALackofknowledgeinthisfieldorimproperuseoflinguistictaboosmayleadtomisunderstandings,conflictsandotherunknownseriousconsequencesinthecross–culturecommunicationswhichisincreasinglyfrequentandwidernow.Thispaperintendstostudytheevolutionoflinguistictaboo,toanalyzethesimilaritiesbetweenChineseandEnglishlinguistictabooinpronunciationandvocabulary,andpresentthedifferencesfromtheaspectsofnames,numbersaswellastaboosubjectsinbothcultures.Lastbutnotleast,twoeffectivewaysareproposedtoavoidlinguistictaboos.2.TheevolutionoflinguistictabooThewordtabooalsospelledastabu,tapuandkapuwasborrowedfromTonga,anislandgroupinPolynesia,anditsfirstrecordeduseinEnglishwasbyCaptainJamesCook17291779,aBritishnavigator.HecametotheArchipelagoofTongaduringhisexplorationsinthesouthernpartofthePacificOcean.Thereheheardthewordfromthelocalpeople,whichoriginallyreferredtopersons,activitiesincludingspeech,orthingsunderprohibitionbecausetheywereconsidered,ontheonehand,sacredandconsecrated,andontheother,uncanny,dangerousandunclean.HeintroduceditintoEnglishinhisdescriptionofhisthirdvoyagearoundtheworldin1777.ButtaboophenomenaarenotuniqueinTonga.Instead,ithaslongexistedinallculturesandlanguagethroughouttheworld.2Aswehavementionedabove,linguistictabooisnotonlyalinguisticphenomenonbutalsoakindofsocialphenomenon.Thedevelopmentofsocietyhasinfluencedthedevelopmentoflinguistictaboo.Soifwewanttorevealthewholepictureoflinguistictaboo,wemusthaveareviewofthehistoryoflinguistictaboo.Theevolutionoflinguistictaboohasgenerallyexperiencedthreestagesaccordingtothehistoryofhumansocietytheprimitivesuperstitionsstage,thefeudalpatriarchalstage,andmoderndemocraticstage.Butthereisnoexplicitdemarcationlinebetweenthreestages.32.1TheprimitivesuperstitiousstagesAsweallknow,Intheprimitivesociety,peopledidntgettoknowwellaboutnature,mostnaturalphenomenasuchaslightning,thunder,storm,earthquake,werebeyondtheunderstandingofhumanbeings.Whenthesephenomenahappened,theythoughtthatcertainsupernaturalcreaturespossessedgreatpower.Theythoughtthatiftheywereloyaltothesesupernaturalcreatures,theywouldbesafeorrewarded.Iftheyactedagainstthem,theywouldbepunishedseverely.Asaresult,theprimitivepeoplecreateddifferentkindsofgods.Theyheldastrongreligiousconvictionthatthesegodscontrolledtheworldthattheywerelivingin.Sothefirstthingtheydidwastorespectthesegodsthroughlanguage.ThereisanexamplefromtheSeventhCommandmentoftheTenCommandmentinBibleYoushallnotmakewrongfuluseofthenameoftheLordyourGod,fortheLordwillnotacquitanyonewhomisuseshisname.4Inaword,theearliestlinguistictabooemergedasaresultoftheignoranceandsuperstitionoftheprimitivepeopleinancienttimes.2.2ThefeudalpatriarchalstageFeudalsocietyisrigidlystratified.Acountryoffeudalismisusuallycontrolledbytheroyalsandsometimestogetherwiththoseconsideredwithgreatpowergivenbygod.Duringthefeudaltimes,peoplewerenotequaltotherulersandweresuppressedbytheirsuperiors.Thedistinctionbetweentheupperandthelowerclasseswasalsoreflectedintheevaluationofthelanguageusedbythemrespectively.Thewordsofupperclassusedwereconsideredgoodandelegantwhilethoseusedbythelowerclasswereregardedasvulgarandindecentandshouldbeavoidedinthespeechofladiesandgentlemen.Forexample,whenreferringto出汗,duchessesusedthewordperspire,butthefemaleservantsusedsweatwhenreferringto吐痰,theformerpeopleusedexpectorate,butthelatterusedspitAsfor月经,theformerusedmenstruate,butthelatterusedbleed.ThemaximHorsessweatmenperspireyoungladiesglowmoreorlesscanreflectthestratifiedusageofwordswhichhavethesamemeaninginthisperiod.5InChina,duringthefeudaltimes,menusuallyplayadominantroleinfamily.WecanseeitfromtheChineseexpressions三从四德,三纲五常etc.Inordertostrengthentheirpositionandtopreventtheirsubjectsfromviolatingthem,theroyalsandkingsputforwarddifferentkindsofprohibitionsandbans.Forinstance,toshowtheirauthorityandmajesty,thenameoftheemperorandhisancestorsshouldnotbementioned.Atthesametime,peoplealwaysavoidedspeakingouttheirparentsnamesoreventhecharactersintheirparentsnames.Theoldsaying古人闻父名而泣canprovethispoint.Mostlinguistictaboosduringthisperiodwereputintoeffectbyrulersinordertomaintaintheirsuperiorsocialpositionandkeepthesocietyundertheircontrol.However,someofthem,becauseoftheirdeeprootedinfluenceonpeoplesmind,stillremaininlanguageevenafterthecollapseofthesocialsystem2.3ThemoderndemocraticstageInmodernsociety,asaresultofthedevelopmentofscienceandtechnology,manynaturalphenomenaarenolongermysterious.Humanbeingsnotonlyconstantlyimprovetheirabilitiestoexploittheworldwheretheyarelivingthroughtheirgreatwisdomandknowledge,butalsomakeeffortstoexploretheextraterrestrialworld.Sciencehasmuchmoresayintodayssociety.Thereby,thesuperstitiouselementsinlinguistictaboosdecreasewhilethosereflectingspiritualcivilizationincrease.Duringsuchanopenmindedperiod,peoplevaluefreedom,equalityanddemocracyverymuch.Manyminoritiesstruggleforequalrightswiththemajorities.Asaresult,linguistictaboosconcerningracialdiscriminationarise.Forexample,intheUnitedStates,niggerwaswidelyusedtocallblackpeopleinthe1960sbutnowitisforbiddeninnormalinteractionbecausesuchformofaddressingshowscontemptfortheblackandgoesagainstthespiritofhumanrights.Inaddition,moreandmorewomenstepoutsidetheirhousestoworktogetherwithmen.Theydontwanttodependonmenanylonger.However,thetraditionalideasaboutwomenstiflethefulfillmentoftheirabilitiesandtheyareoftentreatedunfairlyinwork.Thisforceswomentoriseandfightforequalitieswithmenandmoreandmoremenbegintolearntorespectwomen,whichwillhaveaninfluentialeffectonthelanguage.Asaresult,taboosonsexistlanguageincrease.Besides,inaneraofpeace,therelativestabilityofsocietyandthefastpaceoflife,peopledontbothermuchtoavoidthingsintheobjectiveworld.Instead,theypreferlivingapleasantandharmoniouslife.Theyenjoyspiritualentertainmentverymuch,sotheytrytoavoidthosewordsandbehaviorsthatmaymakeothersfeelunpleasanttokeeptheharmoniousrelationship.Thoseprofessionsthatwerelookeddownuponinthepastarebeautifiednow.Thesubstitutionofsanitationengineerforgarbagecollectorisagoodexampleforthis.Asawhole,sincethethirdstage,peopletodayshowmorerespectforscienceandtechnologyandhumanrightsothatthesuperstitiousandfeudalelementsinlinguistictaboostendtoreducewhilethosereflectingtheadvancementofhumansocietyandspiritualcivilizationtendtoincrease.3.ThesimilaritiesbetweenChineseandEnglishlinguistictabooTherearetaboosforreligion,sex,death,disease,socialbias,etcinbothChineseandEnglishculturesandtheyarereflectedintheirrespectivelanguageandbecomeakindoflinguisticphenomenon.ThesimilaritiesofChineseandEnglishlinguistictaboomainlyembodyinthefollowingaspects3.1InpronunciationBothChinesepeopleandEnglishpeoplebelievethatsayingwordsthatimplymisfortunesordisastersmaybringthemtrouble,andtheythoughtmisfortunescanbepreventedbyreplacingthewordswithhomophonesthathavebettermeanings.InChina,manytabooshavebeencausedbysuperstitions.InShanxiprovinceofChina,thereisacustomthatmulberriescannotbeplantedinfrontofthehouseandwillowscannotbeplantedbehindthehouse,becausetheChinesecharacter桑mulberrysoundsthesameas丧(mourning)and柳(willow)soundsthesameas绺.Theymayindicatethattherewillbeafuneralandsomethingwillbestolen.6Gamblerswontsay书book,becausetheChineseshu/书booksoundthesamewithshu/输defeat.Chinesepeoplewillnotpresentaclockasagiftinweddingsorotherceremonies,becauseclockpronounceszhong钟,whichhasthesamepronunciationaszhong/终end,meaningdeathinChinese.ManyotherexamplesalsocanbefoundinChinese.SomefishermaninSouthChinaavoidsayingsuchwordasfan/翻turnoverorchen/沉sinkandanyotherwordswithsimilarsounds.Someevenchangetheirsurnamechen/陈whichsoundsthesameaschen/沉.ItissaidthatthechopstickspeopleintheEastusewhenhavingmealswereoriginallycalledzhu/箸inancientChina.Sinceithadthesamesoundaszhu/住(stop),itwasreplacedlaterbykuaizi/筷子sincekuai/筷soundslikekuai/快(quick).Inwesterncountries,therearealsomanysuchkindsofexamples.Whenawordsoundsthesameasatabooword,itneedschangingintoanotherexpression.Forinstance,inearlier18thcentury,thefemaleinEnglishandAmericancountriesalwaystriedtoavoidusingthewordarsethebottompartofthebodyonesitson,whichwasconsideredinelegant.Sopeoplecalledtheanimalassasdonkey.7Anothertypicalexampleisthatfuckasail,feckorfackfactareseldomusedorevengooutofuse,becausetheypronouncethesameasfuck.Neamanmadeaconclusionthatthereasonwhysomewordsdisappearedwererelatedtothefactthattheirpronunciationarethesameassometaboowords.83.2InvocabularyRoughlyspeaking,taboowordsinEnglishfallintothreetypes,namelyobscenities,profanitiesandvulgarities.9Basedonthisclassification,thepartfirstlyanalyzesthethreetypesasfollows3.2.1InobscenitiesObscenewordsrefertowordsrelatingtosexinashockingandoffensiveway.Thatistosay,obscenewordsmaycauseoffencetothesocialmoralprinciples.Theyusuallygooutofuseinpublicoccasionandcannotappearinliterarylanguage.Thesewordsarerelatedtohumanbeingssexualbehaviors.InbothEnglishandChinese,thesewordsaretobeavoidedinpoliteconversations,becausetheymaycausestrongdisapproval.InAmerica,theSexualRevolutionin1960sand70smadepeoplemoreopentowardsex,butnowwordssuchasmakingloveandhavingsexstillseldomappeardirectlyinwriting,letaloneinconversation.Westernpeopleareserioustowardssextermstoacertaindegree,sotospeak.TheChinesepeoplealsotreattermsonsexseriously.Chinesepeoplealwaysusetheexpressionof作风问题or不正当关系toshowtheimmoralrelationshipbetweenamanandawoman.Asweallknow,pregnancyisanormalphysiologicalphenomenon,butindailylife,peoplewontsayitdirectly,asitisrelatedtosex.Ifsomeoneispregnant,Englishpeoplewillsay,sheisexpectingababyorsheisinafamilyway.SimilareuphemismscanbefoundinChinese有喜了,行动不便了.3.2.2InprofanitiesProfanitiesrefertoreligiouswordsusedinawaythatshowsalackofrespectforGodorholythings.Religionisafertilefieldofthistypeoftabooterms.AtypicalexampleisthatChristiancannotrefertoGodorGodsname.TheTenCommandmentsforbidpeopletotakethenameoftheLordyourGodinvain.Soitisconsideredveryrudetosaygoddameorgoddamned.10ThewordssuchasGod,Jesus,damnandhelletc,areconsideredhollyandonlyproperlyusedinreligion.Iftheyappearindailycommunication,theywillmakepeopleunpleasantanddisgusted.Sopeoplealwaystrytoavoidusingthesetaboowordsdirectly.TheywouldliketousetheireuphemismsGosh,Jeeperscreepers,dashandheck.Somepeoplealsoavoidreferringtothedevil,whichisconsidereddisrespectful.Sotheyusethedeuce,thedickens,oldNicktosubstitutethedevil.WecanfindsimilarexamplesinChinese.Inreligion,peopleusesomecomplimentaryaddresstorefertoawesomegods,e.g.大帝,大圣,佛陀Buddha.Anotherexampleisthat,tigerisregardedasthedivineanimalneartheChangbaiMountainsituatedintheNortheastofourcountry.Therefore,therewasthecustomoftigeristhegodinancienttimes.Peopleavoidedcallingthetigerdirectlyandgavethetigeranothername,山君or山佛爷.3.2.3InvulgaritiesBothinEnglishandChinesethevulgarwordsareusuallyrudeandoffensiveandbringaboutunpleasantness,angerorconflicts.SwearwordsinEnglishareoftencalledfourletterwords,becausemostofthemareshort,andmanyaremadeupoffourletters,e.g.piss,shit,crap,fuck.Thesesocalledfourletterwordsareconsideredvulgar.11Swearwordsformedbyemployingsomeoftheanimalsnamesarevulgaritiestoo.Theyareveryimproperexpressionsinmostconversations,especiallywhentherearemaleandfemaleatthesametime,suchasbitch,cow,swine,pigetc.TheBritishParliamenthasoncepublishedawordlist.Thewordsonthelistareabusiveandwereunparliamentaryexpressions,suchascad,cheeky,liar,prevaricating,fascistetc.12Ingeneralsituation,evenindailycommunications,thesevulgarwordsareconsideredtaboowords.InChinese,therearealsomanysimilarsayings,suchas小兔崽子,羊巴羔子,狗娘养的,小王八etc.Thesewordsareusedtoinsult

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