Euphemism and dysphemism are frequently the result of these taboos. In its conception, the Tongan word taboo refers to forbidden behavior. PDF | Euphemism and dysphemism are two cognitive processes of conceptualisation, with countervalent effects (having the same base and resources but. A Comparative Study of Euphemism and Dysphemism in English and Arabic with Special Reference to Political Discourse Council for Innovative Research.

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Thus, this has led to a considerable impact on languages by censoring discussion of these topics. Euphemism and dysphemism are frequently the result of these taboos.

In dysphejism conception, the Tongan word taboo refers to forbidden behavior, forbidden because it is believed that such behavior is dangerous to certain individuals or to the society as a whole. To violate such taboos automatically causes harm even death to the violator and perhaps his or her fellows. In this context, euphemism avoidance language and evasive expression can be quite literally a matter of life or death. However, taboos do not always involve the possibility of physical or metaphysical injury.

Old Polynesia supplied evidence of the sorts of taboos on bad manners akin to those of contemporary societies; these euphemixm are merely social sanctions placed on behavior regarded as distasteful or impolite within a given social context. In this context, euphemism is the polite thing to do, and dysphemism offensive language breaks social convention. These expressions are not merely a response to taboo, however; they can function when people simply avoid using, or alternatively decide to use, a distasteful or infelicitous style of language.


The concepts imply the presence of direct terms that are neither sweet-sounding, evasive, or overly polite euphemisticnor harsh, blunt, or offensive dysphemistic.

Orthophemisms are alternatives to offensive expressions and, like euphemisms, are typically preferred as desirable or appropriate terms. What determines the X-phemistic value are social attitudes or conventions; these can vary considerably between dialect groups and even between individual members of the same community. The empirical and theoretical literature on X-phemism crosses a number of discipline areas, being comprised not only of contributions made by linguists, but also of research in sociology, anthropology, psychology, literature, and related areas.



In contrast to many other subjects, however, this one has received comparatively little scholarly attention, an effect perhaps of the perceived sensitivity and informality of the taboos that so often motivate X-phemistic expression. One early work that highlights a range of social, linguistic, and historical aspects of euphemism is Enright Allan and Burridge is a pioneering linguistic treatment.

Other treatments of euphemism, such as Slovenkoeither tend to be rather brief descriptive accounts or highlight specific aspects of the linguistic, social, and psychological life of X-phemisms and are dealt with elsewhere in this article see, e. The literature on dysphemism focuses overwhelmingly on swearing.

Dewaele gives the multilingual perspective on swear words and taboos. Bergen reflects the growing academic interest in the cognitive aspects of cursing.

Euphemism and Dysphemism

Language used as shield and weapon. Taboo and the censoring of language. An expansion and refinement of ideas on X-phemism contained in Allan and Burridgebut with a greater emphasis on taboo and censorship both the institutionalized and self-imposed censoring of language.

What swearing reveals about our language, our brains, and ourselves. A book for academics and the wider community; its focus is on how swearing changes across languages and across time and on what swearing can reveal about how human brains process language.

Towards a new approach to the linguistic definition of euphemism.

A critical analysis of different definitions of euphemism that delivers a new theoretical proposal, beginning with a classification of euphemism into word taboo and concept taboo.

Some theses on euphemisms and dysphemisms. Studia Anglica Resoviensia 3: A study that emphasizes the linguistic and cognitive features shared between X-phemism and metaphor. Emotions in multiple languages. The first large-scale project on the experiences of multilingual users in their communication of positive and negative emotions in different languages. The uses of euphemism. A collection of sixteen essays that explore very different aspects of the phenomenon of euphemism and its flip side, dysphemism.

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Topics include general reflections on euphemism and its history; specific taboo areas, such as sex, death, and other natural bodily functions; the euphemistic language of literature including religious texts ; and the jargon of politics, the law, medicine, office life, and the military.

A psycholinguistic study of dirty language in the courts, in the movies, in the schoolyards and on the streets. The first of its kind to address the relationship between swearing and language acquisition, gender stereotypes, anger expression, and offensiveness using data from field studies and laboratory-based experiments.

Bad language, purity and power from to the present. A sociohistorical approach to explaining how modern attitudes to bad language have evolved using the spoken section of the British National Corpus London: South Bank University, Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page.

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Sign in with your library card. Related Articles about About Related Articles close popup. Applicatives Causatives Interjections Find more forthcoming annd Export Citations Print Email Share. General Overviews of X-phemism One early work that highlights a range of social, linguistic, and historical aspects of euphemism is Enright How to Subscribe Oxford Bibliographies Online is available by subscription and perpetual access to institutions.

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