DOI: 10.5176/2251-3566_L317.79

Authors: Lian Xiaowei and Lei Xiaolan

Abstract: As an indirect linguistic behavior, euphemism is a common phenomenon, which is widely used by people in ordinary life. It is an important strategy to coordinate interpersonal relationship, since it can conceal some unhappy, embarrassing and face-threatening things in speech communication. With the high development of the society and improvement of people’s whole cultural quality, euphemism is frequently used in people’s daily communication and plays a more and more important role in social life. Therefore, research on euphemism has a realistic significance. Based on the previous study, the thesis attempts to study euphemism from the perspective of pragmatics and to explain how English euphemism violate the Cooperative Principle and obey the Politeness Principle in specific context. The research method of the thesis is descriptive research method. According to the existing phenomenon of euphemism as well as the Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle, analyzing English euphemism in the TV play and coming to the conclusion after the author’s understanding and verification. As for the organization of the thesis, it consists of five chapters. Chapter one is the introduction including research background, objective and significance of the study. Chapter two reviews the literature of euphemism, which gives the definition, origins and classification of English euphemism and limitations of the previous study. Chapter three presents the theoretical framework of this paper, such as the pragmatic functions of euphemism, the maxims of CP and PP. Based on this, chapter four combines the euphemisms in Downton Abbey with Cooperative and Politeness Principle to illustrate why people like using euphemism and how euphemism effect in communication. And chapter five is the conclusion, which summarizes the whole paper, pointing out the guiding significance of practical life and giving some suggestions for further research on English euphemism.

Keywords: English euphemism, Cooperative Principle, Politeness Principle, communicative context


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