Abstract Generally speaking, euphemism is a pleasant replacement for an objectionable word that has pejorative connotations. Euphemisms are employed to enable the speaker to create and maintain the harmonious atmosphere in communicating with others. Researchers mainly focused their attention on the definition, classification and functions of euphemism in the past years. However, in recent years, pragmatic perspective and Adaptation Theory that Verschueren put forward have became the main theoretical basis on which scholars at home and abroad do some research in euphemism. 69648
Pragmatic perspective is seen as a general cognitive, social and cultural integration in terms of language use. The core concept of “pragmatic perspective” is Adaptation Theory, providing an entirely new perspective for language research. The Adaptation Theory treats language use as a continuous making of negotiable linguistic choices from a variable range of possibilities to adapt to contextual correlates.
This paper is of both theoretical and practical value. Theoretically, it proves that Adaptation Theory is a good theoretical framework for the study of euphemisms. Practically, it gives some valuable implications for cross-cultural communication and TEFL.
Key words: euphemism; Adaptation Theory; cross-cultural communication;
2. Literature Review2
3. Definition and Classification of Euphemism3
4. Adaptation Theory...5
4.1 Introduction of the adaptation Theory....5
4.2 Key Notions of Verschueren’s Pragmatic Perspective ........5
4.2.1 Making Choices...6
4.2.2 Three Features of Choice-making...7
4.2.3 Four Perspectives of Investigating Adaptation Theory....8
5. English Euphemism in Modern Family as an illustration of Context.....8
5.1 An Introduction to Modern Family9
5.2 Choice-making of Euphemisms in Modern Family......10
5.3 Adaptation to the Physical Level.......11
5.4 Adaptation to the Social Level12
5.5 Adaptation to the Mental Level.12
Euphemism, a common and widespread language phenomenon in virtually all languages in this world, is known as one of the most useful communicative strategies leading to the building of a smooth and steady relationship between communicators.
The main reason for which euphemism exerts such a great impact on communication is that euphemism substitutes an unpleasant and direct expression for a pleasant and indirect one and is, hence, a tactic people often adopt to avoid saying offensive expressions to others, to save both sides’ faces. Euphemism can be applied in different walks of life, which implies that euphemism is omnipresent.文献综述