Euphemism: Prosodic Organization of Conceptual Components

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This article is devoted to the analysis of the formation of linguistic forms within the nominative process of euphemism. The psycholinguistic potential of euphemism forms a complex phenomenon with figurative, verbal, non-verbal, as well as silence components, has a peculiar intonational-prosodic design, which marks euphemisms in oral speech and, as a result, affects the level of priority of the information used in the communicative act. The study was based on semi-synthetic statements, elements of a euphemistic nature, namely “euphemisms-automatisms”. Selected monologic statements taken from interviews were analyzed with an emphasis on prosodic characteristics such as rhythmic utterances and pauses before and after euphemism-automatism. Audio and acoustic analysis allows us to conclude that in the formation of a euphemistic utterance, dramatization is of decisive importance as a subjective psycholinguistic factor. Increasing dramatization contributes to the growth of rhythmic tension and the distribution of stress. The rhythmic pattern of euphemistic utterances has a steady and consistent design. Pause is used to enhance the significance of the basic denotative meaning; however, this process does not differ in regularity and depends on what happens by internal and internal factors. The pause before correlates with the volume of the individual’s cognitive efforts spent on creating the “euphemism-automatism”. The pause after , according to the author, offers compensation for the lexical “primitiveness” and is designed to enhance the euphemistic pragmatic effect with the help of extralinguistic components. This indicates that in cases where the euphemistic pragmatic potential is not provided due to the lexical component, it is compensated by means of prosodic labeling. Summing up, the author provides that the construction of an unambiguous unified algorithm for the phonetic design of euphemisms-automatisms in speech is not possible.

About the authors

Svetlana A. Logvina

V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University

Author for correspondence.
4, Prospekt Vernadskogo, Simferopol, Republic of Crimea, Russian Federation, 295007

PhD of Pedagogical Sciences, Associate Professor of the Department of Foreign languages No. 4, Institute of Foreign Philology


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