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.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ABSTRACTASANINDISPENSABLEANDNATURALPARTOFENGLISHLANGUAGE,ENGLISHEUPHEMISMSHAVEEXISTEDFORALONGTIMETHEAPPEARANCEOFEVERYTHING,INCLUDINGEUPHEMISM,HASITSREASONSTHEEMERGENCEOFENGLISHEUPHEMISMSHASACLOSERELATIONWITHLANGUAGETABOOSANDRELIGIONSINCEENGLISHEUPHEMISMSPLAYANIMPORTANTROLEINSOCIALCOMMUNICATION,THEYWORTHCAREFULANDTHOROUGHSTUDYTHISPAPERWILLMAINLYDEALWITHTHEFORMATION,CLASSIFICATIONANDSOCIALFUNCTIONOFENGLISHEUPHEMISMSVARIOUSMETHODSHAVEBEENUSEDTOFORMENGLISHEUPHEMISMS,INCLUDINGPHONETICDEVICES,SPELLINGDEVICES,VOCABULARYDEVICES,GRAMMATICALDEVICESANDRHETORICALDEVICESTHEPAPERALSOTRIESTOCLASSIFYENGLISHEUPHEMISMSACCORDINGTOTHECONTENTENGLISHEUPHEMISMSAREALMOSTEMPLOYEDINALLFIELDSOFLIFESUCHASINTHEFIELDOFDAILYLIFE,INTHEFIELDOFEDUCATION,INTHEFIELDOFLAW,INTHEFIELDOFPOLITICS,ANDINTHEFIELDOFCOMMERCEANDINDUSTRYFROMTHEDAYTHEYCAMEINTOBEING,ENGLISHEUPHEMISMSPLAYTHEROLEOFSOCIALLUBRICATORWITHOUTTHEM,THEWORLDWILLBEFULLOFCONFLICTSANDTHESOCIALORDERWILLBEINCHAOSTHEFUNCTIONOFENGLISHEUPHEMISMSISDIVERSIFIEDBESIDESEVASION,ENGLISHEUPHEMISMSNOWAREALSOUSEDFORPOLITENESS,ELEGANCEANDDISGUISEKEYWORDSENGLISHEUPHEMISM;FORMATION;CLASSIFICATION;SOCIALFUNCTION【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1INTRODUCTIONEUPHEMISMSHAVEEXISTEDFORALONGTIMETHEWORD“EUPHEMISM”COMESFROMTHEGREEKWORD“EUPHEMIA”THEPREFIX“EU”MEANS“GOOD”,THESTEM“PHEME”MEANS“SPEECH”OR“SAYING”MANYPEOPLEHAVEDEFINEDEUPHEMISMHEREARESOMEOFTHEDEFINITIONS1“EXAMPLEOFTHEUSEOFPLEASANT,MILDORINDIRECTWORDSORPHASESINPLACEOFMOREACCURATEORDIRECTONES”12“APOLITEWORDOREXPRESSIONTHATYOUUSEINSTEADOFAMOREDIRECTONETOAVOIDSHOCKINGORUPSETTINGSOMEONE”23“ALESSDIRECTWORDUSEDINSTEADOFONETHATISHARSHORBLUNTWHENREFERRINGTOSOMETHINGUNPLEASANTOREMBARRASSING”34“SUBSTITUTIONOFMILDORVAGUEORROUNDABOUTEXPRESSIONFORHARSHORDIRECTONE;EXPRESSIONTHUSSUBSTITUTED”45“APOLITEWORDOREXPRESSIONTHATPEOPLEUSETOTALKABOUTSOMETHINGUNPLEASANTOREMBARRASSING,SUCHASDEATHANDSEX”56“AEUPHEMISMISUSEDASANALTERNATIVETOADISPREFERREDEXPRESSION,INORDERTOAVOIDPOSSIBLELOSSOFFACEEITHERONE’SOWNFACEOR,THROUGHGIVINGOFFENCE,THATOFTHEAUDIENCE,OROFSOMETHIRDPARTY”6JUSTASTHEABOVEDEFINITIONSSTATE,SOMEHARSH,BLUNT,UNPLEASANTOROFFENSIVETHINGSINLIFESHOULDNOTBESTATEDDIRECTLYANDTRUTHFULLYINCERTAINOCCASIONSUNDERTHESECIRCUMSTANCES,SOMEBETTERSOUNDINGNAMESSHOULDBEUSEDEUPHEMISMISAPARTOFHUMANLANGUAGEASWELLASAPSYCHOLOGICALANDCULTURALPHENOMENONOFDIFFERENTNATIONSTHEUSAGEOFENGLISHEUPHEMISMREFLECTSETHICSANDBEHAVIORALCODEOFPEOPLEINENGLISHSPEAKINGCOUNTRIESFROMTHEDAYITCAMEINTOBEING,EUPHEMISMFUNCTIONSASTHELUBRICATOROFCOMMUNICATIONTHUSITENABLESPEOPLETOLIVEINHARMONYANDMAKESCONVERSATIONSSMOOTHANDSUCCESSFULTHEFOLLOWINGPARTSHOLDADISCUSSIONONTHEORIGIN,FORMATION,CLASSIFICATIONANDSOCIALFUNCTIONOFENGLISHEUPHEMISMS2THEORIGINOFENGLISHEUPHEMISMS“EUPHEMISMISTHELINGUISTICREFLECTIONOFSOCIALPSYCHOLOGYANDAPRODUCTOFSOCIALANDCULTURALENVIRONMENT”7“INWESTERNNATIONS,THEUSAGEOFEUPHEMISMSINEARLYTIMESORIGINATEDFROMRELIGIONORADMIRESANDDREADOFGODS”8ITSEARLIEREMERGENCEHADACLOSERELATIONTOLANGUAGETABOOSANDRELIGIONINANCIENTSOCIETY,ASTHELEVELOFPRODUCTIVITYANDSCIENCEWASVERYLOW,PEOPLEFAILEDTOEXPLAINTHEESSENCEOFSOMENATURALPHENOMENASUCHASLIGHTENINGANDTHUNDERTHEYCAMETOBELIEVETHATTHEREWERESOMESUPERNATURALPOWERS,ORTHEEXISTENCEOFDEVILSANDGODSTHATCONTROLLEDTHEIRLIVESANDEVENTHEWHOLEWORLDTHEYDAREDNOTTOMENTIONTHENAMESOFTHEDEVILSANDGODSDIRECTLY,JUSTASTHEIDIOMGOES“SPEAKOFTHEDEVILANDHEAPPEARS”THUS,LANGUAGETABOOSCAMEINTOBEINGTOFINDASOLUTIONTOTHISPROBLEM,PEOPLEUSEDOTHERNAMESTHATIS,EUPHEMISMSTOSUBSTITUTETHENAMESOFTHOSETHINGSTHEYFEAREDINCIRCUMSTANCESTHATTHEYHADTOSPEAKOFTHEMBECAUSEOFTHEUSAGEOFEUPHEMISMS,PEOPLEFELTTHATTHEYWERESOMEWHATDISTANTFROMWHATTHEYWEREAFRAIDOFANDTHEIRSAFETY,HAPPINESS,HEALTHANDGOODLUCKWEREGUARANTEEDTHOUGHITISARATHEROLDRELIGIOUSCUSTOM,ITSTILLEXERTSASTRONGINFLUENCEONMODERNWESTERNNATIONSASWEALLKNOW,THEMAJORITYOFTHEPOPULATIONOFENGLISHSPEAKINGCOUNTRIESBELIEVESINGODCONSCIOUSLYORUNCONSCIOUSLY,ANDTHEYTHINKTHATGODEXISTSEVERYWHEREANDHASUNLIMITEDPOWERWORDSRELATEDTOGODANDRELIGIONCANONLYBEUSEDINRELIGIOUSCEREMONIESSINCETHENAMEOFGODISREGARDEDASTHEAVATAROFGODITSELF,PEOPLEUSUALLYUSE“THELORD”TOREPLACEITBESIDES,JESUSISEUPHEMIZEDAS“GEE”,“JEEPERS”,“JIMINY”,“CRICKET”OR“CRIMINET”;AND“THEDEUCE”,“THEDICKENS”OR“OLDNICK”SUBSTITUTES“THEDEVIL”3THEFORMATIONOFENGLISHEUPHEMISMSVARIOUSDEVICESAREEMPLOYEDTOFORMENGLISHEUPHEMISMS31PHONETICDEVICESPHONETICDISTORTIONISACOMMONMEANSTOFORMENGLISHEUPHEMISMFOREXAMPLE,PEOPLEUSE“GAD”,“GOODNESS”,“GOSH”,AND“GOLLY”TOREPLACE“GOD”ANDUSE“CRIPES”TOREPLACE“CHRIST”INORDERTOSHOWRESPECTASSONANCEISANOTHERIMPORTANTMEANSTOFORMEUPHEMISMSFOREXAMPLE,“‘ACOFFINSHOP’ISEUPHEMIZEDAS‘ACOFFEESHOP’,FOR‘COFFIN’AND‘COFFEE’HAVESIMILARITYINSOUND”9RHYMINGSLANGISALSOEMPLOYEDTOFORMENGLISHEUPHEMISMSSLANGISVERYINFORMALANDHASLOCALCOLORITWASORIGINALLYUSEDBYWORKINGPEOPLENOW,SOMESLANGWORDSHAVEBEENACCEPTEDINSTANDARDENGLISHANDUSEDASEUPHEMISMSFOREXAMPLE,“BRISTOLCITIES”ISFOR“BREASTS”;“GRASPANDGRUNT”ISRHYMINGSLANGFOR“CUNT”AND“TEALEAF”ISFOR“THIEF”32SPELLINGDEVICES321ABBREVIATIONSSOMEEUPHEMISMSAREABBREVIATIONSFOREXAMPLE,“VD”ISFOR“VENEREALDISEASE”;“BO”ISFOR“BODYODOR”;“BM”SUBSTITUTES“BOWELMOVEMENT”;“WC”SUBSTITUTES“WATERCLOSET”;“OD”REPLACES“TOTAKEANOVERDOSE”,ETC322REINTERPRETATIONOFINITIALSREINTERPRETATIONOFINITIALSISALSOUSEDTOFORMENGLISHEUPHEMISMSFOREXAMPLE,“HOTANDCOLD”ISAROUNDABOUTEXPRESSIONFOR“HEROINANDCOCAINE”“HOT”AND“HEROIN”HAVETHESAMEINITIAL“H”AND“COLD”AND“COCAINE”HAVETHESAMEINITIAL“C”,BUT“HOTANDCOLD”SOUNDSLESSACCURATEANDINDIRECT33VOCABULARYDEVICES331LOANWORDSBORROWINGISTHEUSEOFLOANWORDSINORDERTOAVOIDTABOOS“ITISTHOUGHTTHATLOANWORDSHAVEFEWNEGATIVEMEANINGANDSENSITIVEASSOCIATIONS,SOTHATTHEYSOUNDMORENEUTRALANDPLEASANT”10HEREISALISTOFDIRECTEXPRESSIONSANDTHEIRRESPECTIVEEUPHEMISMS“ENGLISHFRENCHLATINSMELLSCENTSTINKODORFATROTUNDSICK/ILLINDISPOSEDLIEPREVARICATESPITEXPECTORATESWEATPERSPIRE”11ASWEALLKNOW,IN43ADROMANEMPIRECONQUEREDENGLANDANDBROUGHTLATINTOENGLANDANDLATINBECAMEOFFICIALLANGUAGEINENGLANDAFTERTHENORMANCONQUESTIN1066,FRENCHBECAMETHEGOVERNMENTALLANGUAGEINENGLANDBUTFRENCHANDLATINWEREONLYSPOKENBYTHEUPPERCLASSES,ANDAMONGTHELOWCLASSESENGLISHWASSPOKENTHEUPPERCLASSESHELDTHEVIEWTHATWORDSUSEDBYTHEMSELVESWERESUPERIORTOTHOSEUSEDBYTHELOWCLASSESSOTHEYUSEDFRENCHORLATINWORDSTOREPLACEUNPLEASANTENGLISHWORDSLATERPEOPLEACCEPTEDTHEVIEWTHATFRENCHANDLATINWORDSAREMOREEUPHEMISTICTHANENGLISHWORDS332USINGUPLIFTINGWORDSUPLIFTINGWORDSCANMAKEONEFEELHAPPIERORMOREHOPEFULSOTHEYAREUSEDQUITEFREQUENTLYINMODERNENGLISHASANIMPORTANTMEANSTOEUPHEMIZETHINGSRELATEDTOTHEHUMBLESOCIALCLASSTHEMAINPURPOSEOFUSINGTHESEEUPHEMISMSISTOMAKEMENIALJOBSSOUNDDECENTFOREXAMPLE,PEOPLEREPLACE“WAITERS”OR“WAITRESSES”BY“THEDININGROOMATTENDANTS”,“LANDSCAPEWORKER”BY“LANDSCAPEARCHITECT”,“GARBAGEMAN”BY“SANITARYENGINEER”,ANDSUBSTITUTE“BUTCHER”WITH“MEATTECHNOLOGIST”GENERALLYSPEAKING,INFORMINGEUPHEMISMTHERULEOFUSINGWORDSTHATAREEASYONTHEEARSISOBSERVEDFORTHEPURPOSEOFCONSOLATIONTHROUGHUSINGUPLIFTINGWORDS,THEEMBARRASSINGFACTSAREEMBELLISHEDANDNOLONGERUNPLEASANT333USINGVAGUEWORDSOREXPRESSIONSINMODERNWESTERNCOUNTRIES,VAGUEWORDSOREXPRESSIONSAREUSEDINALMOSTALLTHEFIELDS“IFANEIGHBORINGGIRLHASACHILDBEFOREMARRIAGE,PEOPLEWILLCOMMENTLIKETHIS‘SHEHASANACCIDENT’THEWORD‘ACCIDENT’ISVERYVAGUEIFAPERSONCAMEACROSSADISASTERANDDIED,PEOPLEWILLALSOUSE‘ACCIDENT’TODESCRIBEHISSITUATIONTHEYMAYSAY‘HEHASMETWITHANACCIDENT’”12INSCHOOLASTUDENTMAYSAYTOATEACHER“SORRYIHAVETODOMYBUSINESS”WHENHEWANTSTOGOTOTHEWASHINGROOMBESIDES,“AMANOFBADTASTE”ISCALLED“AMANOFDOUBTFULTASTE”;AND“HOMOSEXUAL”ISREPLACEDBY“QUEER”“ITISNOWONDERTHATEUPHEMISMISNAMEDWEASELWORDS”13334USINGCOUNTRYNAMESNAMESOFSOMECOUNTRIESAREUSEDTOSUBSTITUTEUNCOMFORTABLETHINGSFOREXAMPLE,“DUTCHCOURAGE”REPLACES“WEAKCOURAGE”,THATIS,COURAGETHATCOMESFROMDRINKINGALCOHOL;AND“DUTCHUNCLE”ISFOR“UNPLEASANTRELATIVE”WEALLKNOWTHATTHEREWASAWARBETWEENBRITAINANDDUTCHIN17THCENTURYFROMTHENON,HATREDEXISTEDAMONGPEOPLEINTHESETWONATIONSANDENGLISHMENUSEDEVERYCHANCETOMAKEJOKEOFDUTCHBESIDESDUTCH,FRANCEISALSOUSEDTOFORMEUPHEMISMSLIKE“FRENCHNOVELS”FOR“PORNNOVELS”AND“FRENCHLETTERS”FOR“CONDOM”ANDPEOPLEUSE“FRENCHDEVICES/METHODS”ORSIMPLY“FRENCHISE”TOREPLACEMETHODSOFBIRTHCONTROLPEOPLEINBRITAINBANTERFRENCHBECAUSETHEYWEREONCERULEDBYIT34GRAMMATICALDEVICESMOREANDMORELINGUISTSBECOMETONOTICEEUPHEMISMSFORMEDTHROUGHGRAMMATICALDEVICESSUCHEUPHEMISMSAREUSEDBYSPEAKERSWITHACERTAINPURPOSEONLYTHROUGHTHECONTEXT,CANLISTENERSFIGUREOUTSPEAKERS’SPECIALINTENTION341USINGTHEPASTTENSEINWRITTENENGLISHTHEPASTTENSEISMOSTLYUSEDTOEXPRESSANACTIONORAFACTHAPPENEDINACERTAINPOINTOFTIMEINTHEPASTBUTINORALENGLISH,THEPASTTENSECANREPLACETHEPRESENTTENSETOMAKETHEMEANINGOFTHESENTENCESSOUNDSMOREPOLITEANDMILD1DOYOUWANTMETOHELPYOU2DIDYOUWANTMETOHELPYOU3IWONDERIFYOUCANDOMEAFAVOR4IWONDEREDIFYOUCOULDDOMEAFAVORSENTENCES1AND3USETHEPRESENTTENSEANDSENTENCES2AND4USETHEPASTTENSE,ANDTHEYAREALLGRAMMATICALLYRIGHTBUTSENTENCES2AND4SOUNDMOREPLEASANT,FORTHEYMEANTHATWHATTHESPEAKERSSAYHAPPENEDINTHEPAST,SOTHELISTENERSWILLNOTFEELEMBARRASSEDIFTHEYHAVEDIFFERENTANSWERSFROMTHESPEAKERS’ATTHETIMEBEING5WOULDN’TITBEBETTERFORUSTOSTARTOFFALITTLEEARLIERTOMORROW6THISISSOMETHINGISHOULDADVISEYOUNOTTODOBYUSINGTHEPASTTENSEOFMODELAUXILIARYVERBS,THEABOVESENTENCESPUTFORWARDAPOLITEPROPOSALINSTEADOFAHARSHONE342USINGTHESUBJUNCTIVEMOODTHESUBJUNCTIVEMOODINENGLISHISMAINLYUSEDTOEXPRESSDOUBT,WISHES,ORPOSSIBILITYWHENUSEDINSPOKENENGLISH,ONECANACHIEVEABETTERCOMMUNICATIONEFFECTTHANWITHINDICATIVEMOODORIMPERATIVEMOODHEREARESOMEEXAMPLES7IFIWEREYOU,IWOULDNOTGOTHERE8IFHEBEFOUNDGUILTY,HISMEMBERSHIPWOULDBESUSPENDED9ITISESSENTIALTHATHERECOGNIZEHISFAULT343USINGTHEPASSIVEVOICEINENGLISH,THEPASSIVEVOICEISUSEDTOAVOIDMENTIONINGTHEDOER,ESPECIALLYWHENEXPRESSINGCRITICISMHEREARETWOEXAMPLES10ITISGENERALLYCONSIDEREDNOTACCEPTABLETOACTTHATWAY11THISBOOKWASNOTWELLWRITTENINSENTENCE10,THEPASSIVEVOICEISTACTFULLYUSEDNOTTOINDICATEWHOACTST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