Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Semantics,pragmatics,lexicology, meaning school > Semantics, pragmatics

A Pragmatic Analysis of Diplomatic Euphemism

Author ZhangZuo
Tutor TangJianMin
School Shandong University of Science and Technology
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Diplomatic Euphemisms Cooperative Principles Politeness Principles Communicative Functions
CLC H030
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Euphemism is a common linguistic phenomenon, which is the "substitution of mild or vague or roundabout expression for harsh or blunt or direct one", according to the 7th edition of Concise Oxford Dictionary. Euphemism has always been an important topic of human beings since language was created. It serves as a great tool to make human language more magical, powerful, and pleasant. Euphemism functioning as lubricant of human relationship and helping human communication to go smoothly and friendly is used on any social occasions under whatever context. Without euphemisms, the communication would most probably result in an awkward breakdown. Researchers have studied euphemism from many different angles. However, a special kind of euphemism——diplomatic euphemism has been seldom touched by linguists in a systematic way. The inadequacy of the research leaves the author some space to do a tentative exploration about diplomatic euphemism from pragmatic perspective. By taking Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle as the theoretical backbones through analyzing the scripts of four press briefings selected from the internet, the author conducts a detailed research of diplomatic euphemisms.Through discussions of the nature of the Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle, characteristics of diplomatic language, and by defining diplomatic euphemism etc, the author attempts to prove the inevitability and reasonability for diplomatic euphemisms to violate maxims of Cooperative Principle, while on the other hand to testify in which way diplomatic euphemisms abide by Politeness Principle.Besides conclusion part, the thesis contains s chapters at all. It is intended to have a detailed analysis of the ways diplomatic euphemisms violate the Cooperative Principle and obey the Politeness Principle. The first two chapters are the detailed introduction to basic knowledge of euphemisms, an overview of diplomatic language as well as the Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle. This part serves as the theoretical basis of the following text analysis. Chapter three is introduction to the research method of this thesis. Chapter four and chapter five are about comprehensive text analysis and discussion of the communicative functions of diplomatic euphemisms. In this part, the readers will find that the diplomatic euphemisms in press briefings usually violate maxims of Cooperative Principle while obeying maxims of Politeness Principle. By doing so, diplomats can save faces of people involved in conversation and cover up negative facts by the use of euphemistic expressions. The last part of the thesis is conclusion, making a conclusion of the whole thesis and pointing out limitations of the thesis and future study directions.This thesis is a tentative application of pragmatic theories into diplomatic euphemisms. It aims at bringing some enlightenment for the research and practical use of diplomatic euphemisms and it is especially helpful for us to have a better understanding of the diplomatic language used in press briefings.

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