EUPHEMISMS THROUGH TIME: THE RHETORICAL POWER OF PALLIATION

Milica Radulovic

DOI Number
10.22190/FULL1602173R
First page
173
Last page
187

Abstract

The paper is an overview of the ideas and theoretical frameworks relevant to studying euphemisms, words/expressions used for the purpose of avoiding the negative effect associated with non-euphemistic more negatively connoted alternatives. Euphemisms are discussed in relation to rhetoric, stylistics, pragmatics and discourse analysis, which all provide insight into the motives for the use of these palliative expressions. The overview of the ideas shows that different theoretical frameworks, though they belong to different periods of time, recognize euphemisms as a convenient tool for communicating meaning in a way that can support only the speakerʼs interests. This means that euphemisms can be discussed as a type of language use by means of which the speaker can impose a preferred interpretation of meaning, and, as far as the motives for euphemization are concerned, they should be examined more closely in accordance with the specificities of context and discourse in which euphemisms are used.

Keywords

euphemism, rhetoric, stylistics, pragmatics, discursive strategies

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22190/FULL1602173R

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