University of Tasmania
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Euphemism in English and Japanese : a pragmatic contrastive study

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posted on 2023-05-26, 16:41 authored by Hasegawa, H
This study investigated euphemistic forms and functions of English and Japanese by using contrastive analysis as well as considering the views on euphemism of Japanese English-language speakers and Australian Japanese-language speakers. In order to achieve these goals, four Research Objectives (RO) were addressed. RO1 aimed to identify the functions of euphemistic expressions in terms of communication. R02 aimed to investigate the characteristic features of contexts in which native and non-native speakers of the target languages (English and Japanese) encounter positive and negative aspects of euphemism. The purpose of RO3 was to examine the target group's (native and non-native speakers of the target language) conceptualisations of and attitudes towards euphemism and its role in different social contexts. R04 investigated how euphemistic expressions are handled by Japanese people learning English as a second/foreign language and Australians learning Japanese as a second/foreign language, when faced with sociolinguistic difficulties. ROI was addressed by an extensive literature review. A combination of quantitative and qualitative studies was used to investigate R02, R03 and R04. The quantitative method, which was questionnaire based, targeted 272 students from universities in Japan and 176 students from universities in Australia. This addressed parts of R02 and R03. The qualitative method, which involved interviews with eight Australians and Japanese (who were in the target country when the interviews were conducted) was utilised for R02, RO3 and R04. The results of the investigations showed the language learners' communication difficulties caused by euphemistic, dysphemistic and doublespeak locutions in the target language. The results also indicated clearly the relevance of these three entities, which can be utilised interchangeably according to the speaker's purposes, the different desirable semantic outcomes and the inclusion of intermingled elements of communication settings. The outcomes of the research provide a valuable means of establishing an understanding of how and why euphemisms are currently exploited in both Japanese and English; this is an area that has only been touched upon in previous educational research. The study concluded that promoting the contexts in which euphemism, dysphemism and doublespeak are used in social settings will potentially enhance the effective second/foreign language education. The framework of the analysis presented, along with the research outcomes, facilitated the researcher's development of some sample lesson plans which could be used to improve communicative strategies, especially for Australians learning the Japanese language and Japanese learning English.


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Copyright 2005 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD.)--University of Tasmania, 2005. Includes bibliographical references

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