Linguistic means of forming euphemisms in the modern Chinese language

Keywords: Chinese language, euphemism, lexical unit, linguistic means, metaphor, metonymy, taboo


The article discusses the linguistic means of forming euphemisms in the modern Chinese language and the study of the concept of “euphemism” synchronically and diachronically. Authors highlighted and described several linguistic classifications of euphemisms, presenting the historical prerequisites for their appearance in China, analyzing the connection between taboos and euphemistic vocabulary and formulating the main subject-thematic groups of Chinese euphemisms. Attention is paid to the methods of formation of euphemisms in the Chinese language, including the phonetic allusion, antonomasia, euphemization of certain fixed expressions, metaphor, metonymy. With the help of deductive-inductive analysis and a vast set of examples, authors describe how some foundations of Confucious morality and ethical-ritual traditions in Chinese society led to restriction of the usage for some lexical units and resulted in the emergence of a large number of euphemisms in the Chinese language. The study reveals many factors influencing the usage of euphemisms in the modern Chinese language including the development of society. Special attention in the article is given to the role of euphemism as a universal phenomenon, providing an opportunity for better understanding the culture of the Chinese people and their language and widening the field of effective cross-cultural communication. The authors examined the works of prominent Chinese linguists and emphasized some certain differences in their classifications. The conducted study shows that the phenomenon of euphemism exists in all nations of the world and refers to the same origin but differs in the methods of the research and therefore in the ways of forming certain lexical units.


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How to Cite
Naumenko, S., & Kryvonis, M. (2023). Linguistic means of forming euphemisms in the modern Chinese language. Cognition, Communication, Discourse, (27), 44-55.