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ERIC Number: EJ857948
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Nov
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0388-0001
Towards a New Approach to the Linguistic Definition of Euphemism
Gomez, Miguel Casas
Language Sciences, v31 n6 p725-739 Nov 2009
This paper consists of a revision of the different definitions of euphemism, which, apart from certain restrictive and singular descriptions, can be classified, basically, in two groups: the extralinguistic and the strictly linguistic ones. After a critical-descriptive analysis of these formulations from the standpoints of both lexical semantics and communicative pragmatics, a new theoretical proposal for the linguistic treatment of the euphemistic-dysphemistic phenomenon has been put forward, which starts from a distinction between word "taboo" or "linguistic taboo" and "concept taboo" or "conceptual interdiction" (strictly speaking, "linguistic interdiction"). This perspective is based on forbidden conceptual categories or realities and, therefore, gives a broader concept of euphemism, not restricted to the lexical plane, but which goes beyond a simple substitution process. With this new outlook on the phenomenon, towards a cognitive dimension, a final proposal is made for a definition of euphemism that is fuller and truer to its essence, with pragmatic assumptions which are more appropriate to its relative nature, and the basically discursive function of these linguistic processes, since a linguistic expression cannot be directly labelled as euphemistic or dysphemistic; rather, only through a certain context and given situation can the real sense of its intentions and its function as a communicative value be known.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A