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Analysis of Euphemism from the Perspective of Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle

Analysis of Euphemism from the Perspective of Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle [Abstract]: Euphemism plays an important position in our daily interaction with others. Appropriate use of euphemism guarantees easy communication between speakers. Likewise, the Cooperative Principle and the Politeness Principle also guarantee environment friendly and profitable communication among folks. However, it’s notable that the actual use of euphemisms violates the Cooperative Principle whereas observing the Politeness Principle to some extent.

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This essay provides a general view of the 2 pragmatic ideas in addition to euphemisms, and tries to work out the relations among them by specific evaluation of conversational examples.

[Key Words]: Euphemism; Cooperative Principle; Politeness Principle 1. Introduction: Paul Grice proposed the Cooperative Principle to reveal a collection of maxims one has to watch to realize efficient communication. Generally talking, the principle requires speaking sincerely, relevantly and clearly, whereas on the identical time offering enough data when conversing with others.

In real life, nonetheless, a person at some time or different tends to violate the above precept.

For occasion, an official will presumably speak about some other unrelated concern when he is challenged a query in an interview to avoid his embarrassment. In order to maintain up fascinating social relationships, human beings choose more indirect expressions or quite select more euphemistic expressions. A euphemism is a word or phrase that’s innocent or sounds pleasing which replaces a direct, rude utterance.

In the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, “euphemism” is defined as “an instance of the use of nice, mild, or indirect phrases instead of more correct or direct ones”.

In English, for instance, “pass away”, “breathe one’s last”, “decease” are euphemistic alternatives for “death”. Why, then, do people bother to use these oblique expressions throughout communication? Leech means that it is out of consideration of politeness that folks choose completely different pragmatic strategies to obey or violate CP. Leech’s Politeness Principle subsequently deals with a series of maxims one has to comply with to attain politeness.

These two rules, in a sense, are mutually complementary for each other. This essay goals to illustrate the features of euphemisms via analyzing the relations between the 2 ideas, thus demonstrating tips on how to appropriately use euphemisms given totally different situations. 2. Demonstration 2. 1 Overviews of related ideas 2. 1. 1 Euphemisms The word Euphemism is derived from Greek words. The morpheme “eu-” means “good” whereas that of “-pheme” means “word” or “speech”, subsequently the entire word “euphemism” means “to communicate favorably” or “good speech”.

A euphemism, as its origin suggests, is a mild or imprecise periphrastic expression as an various alternative to blunt precision of unpleasant fact. The features of euphemisms are varied and complicated as they touches nearly each aspect of our social life. Generally talking, evasive perform, politeness operate, and beauty function are among the many most essential. This essay, nonetheless, will focus on politeness perform, that’s, the function to keep away from irreverence and discourtesy in communication. 2. 1. 2 Cooperative Principle

To accomplish efficient and successful communication, persons are usually cooperative in their cooperation. Based on this general view, H. P. Grice, an American linguistic thinker, mentioned, “Our discuss exchanges don’t usually include a succession of disconnected remarks, and wouldn’t be rational in the occasion that they did. They are characteristically, to some extent at least, cooperative efforts; and each participant recognizes in them, to some extent, a common objective or a set of functions, or a minimal of a mutually accepted direction. A successful conversation, as Grice instructed, comes from the widespread efforts made by the participants involved in communication. Grice identifies as tips to profitable conversation 4 primary maxims underlying the Cooperative Principle: The maxim of quantity: 1) Make your contribution as informative as is required. 2) Do not make your contribution more informative than is required. The maxim of high quality: Try to make your contribution one that’s true. 1) Do not say what you consider to be false. 2) Do not say that for which you lack sufficient evidence

The maxim of relation: Be relevant. The maxim of manner: Be perspicuous. 1) Avoid obscurity of expression. 2) Avoid ambiguity. 3) Be brief (avoid pointless prolixity). 4) Be orderly. 2. 1. 3 Politeness Principle Politeness is usually regarded as manifestation of human civilization in addition to some of the efficient methods modulating interpersonal relationship in human communication. The definition of Politeness Principle in language study could be the next: “(1) how languages categorical the social distance between speakers and their completely different position relations. 2) How face works; that’s, the attempt to ascertain, preserve, and save face is carried out in a speech neighborhood. ” G. Leech defines politeness as forms of behavior that set up and keep comity. That is the ability of individuals in a social interplay to interact in interaction in an atmosphere of relative harmony. He developed the Politeness Principle with six maxims as follows: 1. Tact maxim Minimize price to others and maximize benefit to other. 2. The Generosity maxim Minimize benefit to self and maximize value to self. three.

The Approbation maxim Minimize dispraise of different and maximize praise of other. 4. The Modesty maxim Minimize reward of self and maximize dispraise of self. 5. The Agreement maxim Minimize disagreement between self and other and maximize settlement between self and different. 6. The Sympathy maxim Minimize antipathy between self and other and maximize sympathy between self and other. 2. 2 The interaction between the CP and PP According to Grice’s view, conversational implicatures can emerge observing or violating the cooperative principle and its maxims.

However, Leech thought-about that “the CP in itself just isn’t enough to explain ‘(1) why people are usually so indirect in conveying what they imply; and (2) what’s the relation between sense and force when non-declarative types of sentences are being thought-about. ’” Leech looks on politeness because the essential in accounting for why people are so usually indirect in conveying what they mean. He thus puts ahead PP in order to rescue the CP within the sense that PP can satisfactorily clarify exception to and apparent deviations from the CP.

In other words, Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle are mutually complementary. 2. 3 The politeness operate of euphemisms by means of violating the CP 2. 3. 1 Violating the Maxim of Quality According to the maxim of amount, a speaker is supposed to offer as adequate information as required. However, in real social interactions, individuals have a tendency to provide insufficient quantity of knowledge, thus conveying implied which means. For occasion: Willy: Howard, are you firing me? Howard: I think you need a great long relaxation. Willy. It is obvious that as an alternative of the direct answer of “Yes, I’m firing you. Howard adopts a more euphemistic reply. The reply does not present the appropriate amount of knowledge required by Willy whereas avoids the emotional embarrassment to Willy that will come up of a direct answer. In other words, Howard’s tactful and delicate reply follows the Tact Maxim at the price of violating the Maxim of Quantity. 2. three. 2 Violating the Maxim of Quality A euphemism possesses the essential attribute of violating the Maxim of Quality. It both overstates the fact or understates the original defects or deficiencies.

However, phrases inconsistent with the reality are inevitable so as to hold up politeness and reduce the potential for face-threatening to others. This is well illustrated in the following conversation. A: What do you think of Jack? B: He is an efficient pal. He at all times retains an eye fixed on my pocket. Clearly, B is flouting the Maxim of Quality by saying one thing s/he believes to be false. It is understood to each A and B that opposite to what’s actually said, B in impact doesn’t have a liking for Jack. Nonetheless, such euphemistic expression helps save face of the third celebration Jack, thus observing the Generosity Maxim. . three. 3 Violating the Maxim of Manner The Maxim of Manner requires clearness and ease in communication, quite the opposite; euphemisms are vague or obscure words and even go far as to ameliorating prerogative remarks. For instance, a trainer says to a father or mother, “He is somewhat bit sluggish for his age. ” He implies that the child is obtuse. Such a word as “obtuse” does not match a teacher’s psychological in addition to educational literacy. Besides, it is thought of impolite to talk sick of a kid in entrance of the mother and father. It is frequent to be ambiguous within the remarks about others, especially the dangerous ones. ) He has issue distinguishing between imaginary and factual info. (He lies. ) 2) He needs assist in studying to stick to rules and requirements of honest play. (He cheats. ) 3) He wants help in learning to respect the property rights of others. (He steals. ) These expressions are the outcomes of careful selection of communication methods. Although flouting the Maxim of Manner, they observe the Approbation Maxim. 3. Conclusion Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle are mutually complementary; consequently, the violation of one essentially leads to the conformity to the opposite.

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