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语言文化论文-浅谈英语委婉语及其社会影响.doc

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语言文化论文-浅谈英语委婉语及其社会影响.doc

语言文化论文浅谈英语委婉语及其社会影响AbstractLanguagecommunicationisanimportantmethodtomaintainsocialrelationship,sopeopleoftenusetheindirectorpleasantexpressionsintheplaceofthoseconsideredunpleasant,rudeoroffensiveincommunication.Itisnotonlyalinguisticphenomenon,butalsoakindofsocialphenomenonandculturalphenomenon.Itreflectssomekindsofcorrespondingculturaltraditions.Thispapermainlyfocusesonthewaysofexpression,themajorfunctionandthesocialinfluenceofeuphemisminEnglish.AndthefirstpartelaboratesuponthedifferentexpressionsofeuphemisminEnglish,dividedintofourpartsfigureofspeech,semanticmethod,thevarietyofpronunciationandspellingformandgrammar.Andthenitmakesstudytheapplianceofeuphemismonthreefunctionsavoidance,courtesy,disguiseinsociallife,anddiscussesthepositiveandnegativeinfluencesofeuphemism.Toknowthesecouldhelpustounderstandthemodeofthinking,socialvalues,moralconcepts,andculturaltraditionsinEnglishspeakingcountry,andcouldimproveourlanguagecommunicativeability.KeywordsEuphemism,application,socialinfluence,positive,negative【摘要】语言交际是人类以维系社会关系的重要手段,因而人们在交际中通常避免使用引起双方不快从而损害双方关系的语言,而是采取迂回曲折的方法来表达思想,交流信息,它不仅是种语言现象,而且是社会现象和文化现象。委婉语言体现了相应的社会文化传统。本文主要阐述了英语委婉语的构成方法以及它的社会影响,并着重从修辞手段,语义手段,构词手段及语法手段对委婉语言作了较全面的分析,并对委婉语在交际中的语用功能和表达方式做了一些探讨,从委婉语的避讳功能,礼貌功能和掩饰功能三个方面探讨了委婉语在社会生活中的运用,了解委婉语在运用中的积极作用和消极作用,有助于我们更深入的了解英语国家人们的思维方式、社会价值观、道德观以及文化风俗,对于提高自身言语交际功能是十分必要的。【关键词】委婉语运用社会影响积极消极1.IntroductionEuphemismisoriginallyfromGreek,meaning,speakwithgookwords.eumeanswellorsoundingwellphememeansspeech.ItsdefinitioninOxfordEnglishDictionaryisexampleoftheuseofpleasant,mild,orindirectwordsorphrasesinplaceofmoreaccurateordirectones.1Theappearanceofeuphemismisbasedontworeasonsoneaimstotaketheplaceoftaboo.Whengivingupatabooword,peoplewillfindanothernewonetotaketheplaceofit,whichcreatesaeuphemism.Theotheraimstoavoidoffensivenessduringthecommunication.Itisafigureofrhetoricbywhichanunpleasantoroffensivethingisdescribedorreferredtobyamilderterm.InEnglishlanguage,euphemismiswidelyusedinthedailycommunications.Inordertoachievetheaimoftaboo,itisusedtoavoidtheunpleasantthinginordertoachievetheaimofpoliteness,itisusedtoavoidtheinelegantthings2,whicharethetwosocialpsychologicalbasisoftheemergenceofeuphemism.Euphemismisoneoftheimportantpartsoffigureofspeech.Itisnotonlyalinguisticphenomenon,butalsoakindofsocialphenomenonandculturalphenomenon.Euphemisminusediffersfrompersontoperson,fromprofessiontoprofession,evenfromclasstoclass3,ThatswhysometimesthemeaningofsomeeuphemismswillpuzzleyouifyoudonotknowthebackgroundofEnglishculture.TograsptheEnglisheuphemismcannotonlyhelpusopenoureyes,butstrengthenourabilityofreadingcomprehension.ThispaperaimstodiscusstheapplicationofeuphemisminEnglishandtomakeacknowledgeofitssocialinfluence,whichcouldhelpususeeuphemisminacorrectway.2.Waystoexpresseuphemism2.1.Figureofspeech2.1.1.Metonymy.Thatistousethegeneralwordstotaketheplaceoftheconcretewords.Passedawaywhichreferstodeadbelongstometonymy.Itcanbedividedintothefollowingforms1tousethecontainertotaketheplaceofthethingsinthecontainer.Forexampletobefondofthebottleisaeuphemismforlikingtodrink.2Tousetheentiretyinsteadofthepart.Forexampleabdomenisusedtorefertobellylimbreferstoleg.Forsomespecialoccasions,thepartcanbeusedinsteadoftheentirety.InAustralianEnglishanoldhandisaeuphemismforanoldprisoner.3Tousethetoolstotaketheplaceoftheobjects.Forexample,pickisatoolofpryingthelock.Itcanrefertothief.4Touserawmaterialstotaketheplaceoffinishedproducts.Forinstance,poppyisakindofflower,butitalsoreferstoopium.5Tousecharacteristicstotaketheplaceofobjects.Forexample,hellowisagreetingword,anditisalsoaeuphemismforprostitutebecauseprostitutesoftenusethiswordtosolicitthewhoremastersbloodandironisaeuphemismforviolence.6Touseproperwordstoreplacetheobjects.Forexample,napoleonisaFrenchgoldencoinonwhichthereisNapoleonsheadportrait.BorstalisanameofcountrysideinKentinBritain.Itcanalsorefertojuveniledelinquency.Sometimes,someeuphemismsarefrequentlyusedinsteadoftheoriginalwordspeoplegraduallyforgettheireuphemisticidentities.Theyarenotusedintermsofeuphemismsbuthavetheirownindependentmeanings.Forinstance,takeabovementionedpoppy,nowifyoulookupthiswordinthedictionary,youcanfindthemeaningofopium,ithaslostitseuphemisticfunction.And,ifyoudonotknowthebackground,youcannotknowthemeaningofNapoleonandBorstal.Therefore,wecanseetheimportanceofknowingthebackgroundofEnglishculture.Itcanhelpyoualottorecognizeandunderstandtherealmeaningofeuphemismandmakegooduseofit.2.1.2.MetaphorTousemetaphorcaneasilyavoidtheoffensivethings.Forexample,whereforeitisbettertobeaguestofthelaw,which,thoughconductedbyrules,doesnotmeddleundulywithagentlemansprivateaffairs.O.Henry,TheCopandtheAnthemtobeaguestofthelawisaeuphemismfortobeinprison4,Manyeuphemismsfordeathwerecreatedbywayofmetaphor,suchasgoingtohislonghome,tobehomeandfree,togotosleep,tosleepthelongoreternal,neverendingsleep,torestinpeace,tobeatrest,togotoHeavenorParadise,tojoinonesancestors,tobegatheredtoonesfathers,tojointheimmortals.Moreexamplesareaged→sunsetyears,tobepoor→tobepinched,tohaveimpropersexualintercoursewithgirlsespeciallymaiden→todeflowertodegenerate→togoastraybreast→milkbottlescatamenia→theredflagtobepregnant→tobeonthenestthemoneyofbribery→greasetobribe→togreasesomebodyspalmhandcuffs→bracelets.2.1.3PersonificationPeoplesnamesareoftenusedtoreplacetaboowords.Forexample,BigHarryreferstoheroinbecauseHarryandheroinhavethesameinitials.Lavatoryalsohasmanyeuphemisticalexpressions.In19thcentury,itwascalledmyauntJones,Mrs.Jones,SirJohn,SirHarry,theHenry,whilein20thcentury,itwascalledjakes,johnetc.Butthelattercolorofpersonificationbecomesweak.Thefirstlettercanbewritteninsmallletter.Peoplejustuseitasacommonnoun.Infact,theyhavelosttheeuphemisticfunction.Therearemanyhumorouswaystoexpresscatameniaintermsofpersonification1Myfriendhascome.2Ihaveavisitor.3Mycousins/countrycousinshavecome.4Myauntie/grandmotherhascometostay.5Littlesisterishere.6Ivegotpaintersin.7thecardinalhascome.2.1.4.AnalogyIntheeuphemismsforoccupationpeopleoftenuseanalogy,whichmakesthehumblenamemoreelegant5,Forexample,chefisaeuphemismforcook.ItisborrowedfromFrenchwordchefdecuisine.Beauticianreferstohairdressergarbologistreferstogarbagecollectormorticianreferstoundertaker.Therealsoappearedsomebeautifulnamesforbarbershophairsalon,beautyparlour,andstylistparlour.2.1.5.EllipsisThatistoomittheoffensivewordswhilespeaking,suchastobeexpectingababy,tohavesexualrelationswithsomebody,totakeprecautionsagainstpregnancy,todepartfromthisworld.Ofcourse,suchphrasesshouldbeputintoacertaincontext,whichcanexpressthemeaningofeuphemisms.2.1.6.PeriphrasisItisanexpressionofbeatingaroundthebush.Thoughitisamuddledacting,itsaimistoavoidoffendingothers,andtobemorepolite6.Ifsomeoneaskedawomanwhethershewasknittingatinygarment,hemeantthathewonderedwhethershewaspregnant.Suchwayofspeakingishumorous,sweetandagreeable,suchastodie→tocloseoneseyes,toexpire,tobreatheoneslasttodefecateandtourinate→towashoneshands,toeaseorrelieveoneself,todoonesbusinesstocourt→togowalkingtobepregnant→toeatfortwolavatory→washroom,cloakroomfart→windfrombehindwomensunderclothes→unmentionablestrousers→nethergarmentsaskyoutogoaway→callyourcarriageforyoutodismiss→togivesomebodythesacktobeinprison→toliveatthegovernmentsexpense.Teachersoftenusethisexpressiontoavoidthestudentsandtheirparentsawkwardness.Forexample,lazinessiscalledneedingamplesupervisioninordertoworkwellcheatisdescribedasneedinghelpinlearningtoadheretorulesandstandardsoffairplayliesiscalledshowingdifficultyindistinguishingbetweenimaginaryandfactualmaterialstealiscalledneedinghelpinlearningtorespectthepropertyrightsofothersbeabullyreferstohavingqualitiesofleadershipbutneedshelpinlearningtousethemdemocraticallydirtyiscalledbelackofproperhealthhabits.72.2.Semanticmethod2.2.1.SynonymForexample,tightisusedinsteadofstingythriftisusedinsteadofeconomical,defecatereplacesshiftandurinereplacespiss.Andmadisreplacedbycrazy,insane,andlunatic.Sucheuphemismaimstousetheappreciativetermtotaketheplaceofthederogatoryterm.2.2.2.NegationSucheuphemismusesthecontrarytermtoexpressthesamemeaning,anditcouldbemoreusefulthansynonyminreplacingthetabooandmakepeoplemoreunderstandableandcomfortable.Wecouldcallstupidpeopleunwisepeople.Afatchancemeansaslimchanceandfindwordsstandsforbadwords2.2.3.VaguewordsandexpressionsThatistomaketheharsheroroffensivewordsmoregeneral.Forexample,ifsomebodyhassomementalproblems,wecanexpressitlikethisHisroofleaksalittlehehasascrewloose/missingheisnotathome.Thereareotherexampleswhichusevagueexpressions,suchasdisease→trouble,problemtocomeacrossanunfortunatething→tohaveanaccidentV.D.venerealdisease→secretdiseasetolivetogetherillegally→tocohabitintrauterinedevice→ringtorapesomebody→todoviolencetosomebodyprostitute→awomanofthestreets,awomanofacertainclass,apaintedwoman,aladyofthenightgirltoentertainwhorehousevisitors→toseecompanywhorehouse→houseasquint→anobliquityofvisionamanofbadtaste→amanofdoubtfultastestrike→industrialactionthepoor→theunderprivileged,thedisadvantagedindebt→indifficultiesbuttocks→behind,bottom,backsideshomosexual→queersexualintercourse→intimacytobekilled→tobeputtosleep.2.2.4.LoanwordsBecausefromtheperiodofRenaissance,Latin,Greek,andFrenchareconsideredasculturedwords8.Peopleconsiderthatthoselanguagesaremoreelegant,tactfulandambiguous.Intheearly19thcentury,nomatterinBritainorAmerica,peopleusedFrenchwordenceinteinsteadofEnglishwordpregnant.Itispopulartillnowbecausetheformerismoreelegant,tactfulandambiguous.EnglishborrowswordsnotonlyfromFrenchbutalsofromotherlanguagesinmanykindsofwaystocreateitsowneuphemism.Forexample,lavatorywasborrowedfromLatinwordlavatorium,butitlostitsmeaningofeuphemismbecauseoflongtimeusing.Therefore,peopleborrowedanothereuphemismfromFrench

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