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语言文化论文-浅谈英语委婉语的分类、构成方式及社会功能.doc

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语言文化论文-浅谈英语委婉语的分类、构成方式及社会功能.doc

语言文化论文浅谈英语委婉语的分类、构成方式及社会功能AbstractAsanindispensableandnaturalpartofEnglishlanguage,Englisheuphemismshaveexistedforalongtime.Theappearanceofeverything,includingeuphemism,hasitsreasons.TheemergenceofEnglisheuphemismshasacloserelationwithlanguagetaboosandreligion.SinceEnglisheuphemismsplayanimportantroleinsocialcommunication,theyworthcarefulandthoroughstudy.Thispaperwillmainlydealwiththeformation,classificationandsocialfunctionofEnglisheuphemisms.VariousmethodshavebeenusedtoformEnglisheuphemisms,includingphoneticdevices,spellingdevices,vocabularydevices,grammaticaldevicesandrhetoricaldevices.ThepaperalsotriestoclassifyEnglisheuphemismsaccordingtothecontent.Englisheuphemismsarealmostemployedinallfieldsoflifesuchasinthefieldofdailylife,inthefieldofeducation,inthefieldoflaw,inthefieldofpolitics,andinthefieldofcommerceandindustry.Fromthedaytheycameintobeing,Englisheuphemismsplaytheroleofsociallubricator.Withoutthem,theworldwillbefullofconflictsandthesocialorderwillbeinchaos.ThefunctionofEnglisheuphemismsisdiversified.Besidesevasion,Englisheuphemismsnowarealsousedforpoliteness,eleganceanddisguise.KeyWordsEnglisheuphemismformationclassificationsocialfunction【摘要】委婉语是人类语言中的一种普遍现象,其存在的历史相当悠久。任何事物的出现总有其原因,委婉语当然也不例外。委婉语的出现是与语言禁忌息息相关的。英语委婉语在交际中起着十分重要的作用,因此值得深入的学习和研究。本文主要从英语委婉语的构成方式、分类和社会功能来进行阐述。英语委婉语的构成方式多种多样包括语音手段、语法手段、修辞手段等。论文还试图根据英语委婉语的内容对其应用范围进行归类。英语委婉语涉及生活的方方面面,既有日常生活中的委婉语又有教育和法律委婉语以及政治委婉语与商业和工业领域委婉语。从其诞生之日起,英语委婉语就肩负着社会润滑剂这项重任。可以预见如果没有委婉语人际交往中将会增加许多摩擦和矛盾。英语委婉语具有多样化的功能。除了避讳,它还具有礼貌、求雅、掩饰等功能。【关键字】英语委婉语构成方式分类社会功能1.IntroductionEuphemismshaveexistedforalongtime.ThewordeuphemismcomesfromtheGreekwordEuphemia.Theprefixeumeansgood,thestemphememeansspeechorsaying.Manypeoplehavedefinedeuphemism.Herearesomeofthedefinitions.1exampleoftheuseofpleasant,mildorindirectwordsorphasesinplaceofmoreaccurateordirectones.12apolitewordorexpressionthatyouuseinsteadofamoredirectonetoavoidshockingorupsettingsomeone.23alessdirectwordusedinsteadofonethatisharshorbluntwhenreferringtosomethingunpleasantorembarrassing.34SubstitutionofmildorvagueorroundaboutexpressionforharshordirectoneExpressionthussubstituted.45apolitewordorexpressionthatpeopleusetotalkaboutsomethingunpleasantorembarrassing,suchasdeathandsex.56Aeuphemismisusedasanalternativetoadispreferredexpression,inordertoavoidpossiblelossoffaceEitheronesownfaceor,throughgivingoffence,thatoftheaudience,orofsomethirdparty.6Justastheabovedefinitionsstate,someharsh,blunt,unpleasantoroffensivethingsinlifeshouldnotbestateddirectlyandtruthfullyincertainoccasions.Underthesecircumstances,somebettersoundingnamesshouldbeused.Euphemismisapartofhumanlanguageaswellasapsychologicalandculturalphenomenonofdifferentnations.TheusageofEnglisheuphemismreflectsethicsandbehavioralcodeofpeopleinEnglishspeakingcountries.Fromthedayitcameintobeing,euphemismfunctionsasthelubricatorofcommunication.Thusitenablespeopletoliveinharmonyandmakesconversationssmoothandsuccessful.Thefollowingpartsholdadiscussionontheorigin,formation,classificationandsocialfunctionofEnglisheuphemisms.2.TheoriginofEnglisheuphemismsEuphemismisthelinguisticreflectionofsocialpsychologyandaproductofsocialandculturalenvironment.7Inwesternnations,theusageofeuphemismsinearlytimesoriginatedfromreligionoradmiresanddreadofgods.8Itsearlieremergencehadacloserelationtolanguagetaboosandreligion.Inancientsociety,asthelevelofproductivityandsciencewasverylow,peoplefailedtoexplaintheessenceofsomenaturalphenomenasuchaslighteningandthunder.Theycametobelievethatthereweresomesupernaturalpowers,ortheexistenceofdevilsandgodsthatcontrolledtheirlivesandeventhewholeworld.Theydarednottomentionthenamesofthedevilsandgodsdirectly,justastheidiomgoesSpeakofthedevilandheappears.Thus,languagetabooscameintobeing.Tofindasolutiontothisproblem,peopleusedothernamesthatis,euphemismstosubstitutethenamesofthosethingstheyfearedincircumstancesthattheyhadtospeakofthem.Becauseoftheusageofeuphemisms,peoplefeltthattheyweresomewhatdistantfromwhattheywereafraidofandtheirsafety,happiness,healthandgoodluckwereguaranteed.Thoughitisaratheroldreligiouscustom,itstillexertsastronginfluenceonmodernwesternnations.Asweallknow,themajorityofthepopulationofEnglishspeakingcountriesbelievesinGodconsciouslyorunconsciously,andtheythinkthatGodexistseverywhereandhasunlimitedpower.WordsrelatedtoGodandreligioncanonlybeusedinreligiousceremonies.SincethenameofGodisregardedastheavatarofGoditself,peopleusuallyusetheLordtoreplaceit.Besides,JesusiseuphemizedasGee,jeepers,jiminy,CricketorCriminetandthedeuce,thedickensorOldNicksubstitutestheDevil.3.TheformationofEnglisheuphemismsVariousdevicesareemployedtoformEnglisheuphemisms.3.1PhoneticdevicesPhoneticdistortionisacommonmeanstoformEnglisheuphemism.Forexample,PeopleuseGad,Goodness,Gosh,andGollytoreplaceGodandusecripestoreplaceChristinordertoshowrespect.Assonanceisanotherimportantmeanstoformeuphemisms.Forexample,acoffinshopiseuphemizedasacoffeeshop,forcoffinandcoffeehavesimilarityinsound.9RhymingslangisalsoemployedtoformEnglisheuphemisms.Slangisveryinformalandhaslocalcolor.Itwasoriginallyusedbyworkingpeople.Now,someslangwordshavebeenacceptedinStandardEnglishandusedaseuphemisms.Forexample,Bristolcitiesisforbreastsgraspandgruntisrhymingslangforcuntandtealeafisforthief.3.2Spellingdevices3.2.1AbbreviationsSomeeuphemismsareabbreviations.Forexample,VDisforvenerealdiseaseBOisforbodyodorBMsubstitutesbowelmovementWCsubstituteswaterclosetODreplacestotakeanoverdose,etc.3.2.2ReinterpretationofinitialsReinterpretationofinitialsisalsousedtoformEnglisheuphemisms.Forexample,hotandcoldisaroundaboutexpressionforheroinandcocaine.hotandheroinhavethesameinitialhandcoldandcocainehavethesameinitialc,buthotandcoldsoundslessaccurateandindirect.3.3vocabularydevices3.3.1LoanwordsBorrowingistheuseofloanwordsinordertoavoidtaboos.Itisthoughtthatloanwordshavefewnegativemeaningandsensitiveassociations,sothattheysoundmoreneutralandpleasant.10Hereisalistofdirectexpressionsandtheirrespectiveeuphemisms.EnglishFrenchLatinsmellscentstinkodorfatrotundsick/illindisposedlieprevaricatespitexpectoratesweatperspire11Asweallknow,in43A.D.RomanEmpireconqueredEnglandandbroughtLatintoEnglandandLatinbecameofficiallanguageinEngland.AftertheNormanConquestin1066,FrenchbecamethegovernmentallanguageinEngland.ButFrenchandLatinwereonlyspokenbytheupperclasses,andamongthelowclassesEnglishwasspoken.Theupperclassesheldtheviewthatwordsusedbythemselvesweresuperiortothoseusedbythelowclasses.SotheyusedFrenchorLatinwordstoreplaceunpleasantEnglishwords.LaterpeopleacceptedtheviewthatFrenchandLatinwordsaremoreeuphemisticthanEnglishwords.3.3.2UsingupliftingwordsUpliftingwordscanmakeonefeelhappierormorehopefulsotheyareusedquitefrequentlyinmodernEnglishasanimportantmeanstoeuphemizethingsrelatedtothehumblesocialclass.Themainpurposeofusingtheseeuphemismsistomakemenialjobssounddecent.Forexample,peoplereplacewaitersorwaitressesbythediningroomattendants,landscapeworkerbylandscapearchitect,garbagemanbysanitaryengineer,andsubstitutebutcherwithmeattechnologist.Generallyspeaking,informingeuphemismtheruleofusingwordsthatareeasyontheearsisobservedforthepurposeofconsolation.Throughusingupliftingwords,theembarrassingfactsareembellishedandnolongerunpleasant.33.3UsingvaguewordsorexpressionsInmodernwesterncountries,vaguewordsorexpressionsareusedinalmostallthefields.Ifaneighboringgirlhasachildbeforemarriage,peoplewillcommentlikethisShehasanaccident.Thewordaccidentisveryvague.Ifapersoncameacrossadisasteranddied,peoplewillalsouseaccidenttodescribehissituation.TheymaysayHehasmetwithanaccident.12InschoolastudentmaysaytoateacherSorryIhavetodomybusinesswhenhewantstogotothewashingroom.Besides,amanofbadtasteiscalledamanofdoubtfultasteandhomosexualisreplacedbyqueer.Itisnowonderthateuphemismisnamedweaselwords.133.3.4UsingcountrynamesNamesofsomecountriesareusedtosubstituteuncomfortablethings.Forexample,Dutchcouragereplacesweakcourage,thatis,couragethatcomesfromdrinkingalcoholandDutchuncleisforunpleasantrelative.WeallknowthattherewasawarbetweenBritainandDutchin17thcentury.Fromthenon,hatredexistedamongpeopleinthesetwonations.AndEnglishmenusedeverychancetomakejokeofDutch.BesidesDutch,FranceisalsousedtoformeuphemismslikeFrenchnovelsforpornnovelsandFrenchlettersforcondom.AndpeopleuseFrenchdevices/methodsorsimplyFrenchisetoreplacemethodsofbirthcontrol.PeopleinBritainbanterFrenchbecausetheywereonceruledbyit.3.4GrammaticaldevicesMoreandmorelinguistsbecometonoticeeuphemismsformedthroughgrammaticaldevices.Sucheuphemismsareusedbyspeakerswithacertainpurpose.Onlythroughthecontext,canlistenersfigureoutspeakersspecialintention.3.4.1UsingthepasttenseInwrittenEnglishthepasttenseismostlyusedtoexpressanactionorafacthappenedinacertainpointoftimeinthepast.ButinoralEnglish,thepasttensecanreplacethepresenttensetomakethemeaningofthesentencessoundsmorepoliteandmild.1Doyouwantmetohelpyou2Didyouwantmetohelpyou3Iwonderifyoucandomeafavor.4Iwonderedifyoucoulddomeafavor.Sentences1and3usethepresenttenseandsentences2and4usethepasttense,andtheyareallgrammaticallyright.Butsentences2and4soundmorepleasant,fortheymeanthatwhatthespeakerssayhappenedinthepast,sothelistenerswillnotfeelembarrassediftheyhavedifferentanswersfromthespeakersatthetimebeing.5Wouldntitbebetterforustostartoffalittleearliertomorrow6ThisissomethingIshouldadviseyounottodo.Byusingthepasttenseofmodelauxiliaryverbs,theabovesentencesputforwardapoliteproposalinsteadofaharshone.3.4.2UsingthesubjunctivemoodThesubjunctivemoodinEnglishismainlyusedtoexpressdoubt,wishes,orpossibility.WhenusedinspokenEnglish,onecanachieveabettercommunicationeffectthanwithindicativemoodorimperativemood.Herearesomeexamples7IfIwereyou,Iwouldnotgothere.8Ifhebefoundguilty,hismembershipwouldbesuspended.9Itisessentialthatherecognizehisfault.3.4.3UsingthepassivevoiceInEnglish,thepassivevoiceisusedtoavoidmentioningthedoer,especiallywhenexpressingcriticism.Herearetwoexamples10Itisgenerallyconsiderednotacceptabletoactthatway.11Thisbookwasnotwellwritten.Insentence10,thepassivevoiceistactfullyusednottoindicatewhoactsthatway.Insentence11,thespeakerdoesnotmentionwhoisthewriterinordernottohurtthepersonconcerned.3.4.4UsingparenthesesParenthesesarealsousedtoformeuphemisms.Andaparenthesiscanbeaword,aphraseorasentence,suchas,Ithink,Iguess,Imafraid,Isuppose,Iwonder,itseems,anditissaid.Theyareusedtomakeastatementlessdirectorlessstrong.Herearesomeexamples12Theman,itseems,istheonewholivesnextdoortoTim.13This,Ithink,isaverygoodwaytoimproveyourEnglishstudy.WithitseemsandIthinkthetwosentencessoundmoremodestandlessrighteous.3.4.5UsingpleaseOutofkindnessandpoliteness,thewordpleaseisusedasaeuphemisticdevice.Examples14Nophotos,please.15Closethedoor,please.16Children,pleaseIamtryingtowork.Insentence14,pleaseisemployedonasigntosaythatsomethingisnotallowedpolitely.Sentence15usespleaseasapolitewayofaskingsomebodytodosomething.Sentence16employspleaseasamildcriticism,toasksomebodytostopbehavingbadly.3.4.6UsingtagquestionsAphrasesuchasisntit,wontit,ordoesntsheisaddedtotheendofasentencetomakeitaquestionortoaskyoutoagreewiththeabovestatementpolitely.Examples17Letsgofishingthisafternoon,shallwe18Turnonthelightforme,willyou3.5RhetoricaldevicesSomeeuphemismsareinventedbyrhetoricalmeansasfollows.3.5.1UsingmetaphorInEnglish,manyeuphemismsthemselvesarevividandpopularmetaphors,soitisnecessarytofindoutwhatmetaphormeans.Ametaphoremploysawordoraphrasetoindicatesomethingdifferentfromtheliteralmeaning.Peopleseldomsayhediedbuthewenttosleepforeverorhewenttohislonghome.Here,gotosleepforeverandgotooneslonghomearebothmetaphorsandeuphemisms.Moreexamplesare19HeisHamlet.20Hisplaniscastleintheair.21JohniscarryingcoalstoNewcastle.Sentence19meansheisindecisive,sentence20meanshisplanisdaydream,andsentence21hasthesamemeaningwithJohniswastingtimeandenergy.Euphemismscreatedbythiswayalsoappearinliteraryworks.Hereisanexample22thereforeitisbettertobeaguestofthelaw,whichthoughconductedbyrules,doesnotinterferetoowithagentlemansprivateaffairs.14Insentence22,tobeaguestofthelawmeanstobeinprison,buttheformerisapleasantsubstitution.Soapywouldratherspendhiswintersinprisonthangetsomehelpfromcharityorganizations,forifhewantstogethelpfromcharities,hisprivateaffairswillbeinterfered.3.5.2UsingunderstatementForthesakeofpolitenessandpleasantness,peopleoftenuseanotherformationcalledunderstatement,which,isnottostatesomethingfullyoradequately.Understatement,asthewordsuggests,isastatementthatisnotstrongenoughtoexpresshowgood,bad,impressiveetcsomethingreallyis.15Understatementachievesitseffectofemphasizingafactbydeliberatelyunderstatingit.16Understatementisusuallydividedintolitotesandmeiosis.Litotesisunderstatementbyusinganegativestatementinsteadofapositiveone17.Examples23Sheisveryugly.Sheisnotparticularlygoodlooking.24Hewasquiterich.Hewasamanofnomeanwealth.Insentence23,notparticularlygoodlookingismoreneutraland

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