Euphemisms as linguistic tool for politeness in Kempo speech of Manggarai
This article presents euphemisms as linguistic tools for the expression of politeness in a local language, Kempo speech of the Manggarai language, in West Flores, Indonesia. The universal use of euphemisms indcates that speakers of languages across the world very much care about politeness as a means to maintain social relationships. Euphemisms are defined as the use of soft or mild words to replace offensive words for the purpose of politeness. They are used during interactions, to ensure that social relationships are maintained. The qualitative data show that Kempo ethnic people use various types of mild words to prevent their crops being damaged by certain animals; to maintain interactions by not mentioning certain human body parts; to replace the names of certain professions that are not polite to mention during interactions; and to avoid mentioning unworthy words for certain activities, events, and conditions. These euphemisms are used to maintain politeness in any interaction or communication.The euphemisms identified are morphologically and syntactically formed. It is interesting that some euphemisms are in the form of words bearing lexical meanings, while others have idiomatic meanings. Meanwhile, some euphemisms are in phrase and clause forms that bear idiomatic meanings. These findings indicate that the people of Kempo ethnicity very much care about how to use language properly to maintain politeness and social relationships.
Keywords: euphemisms, linguistic tools, politeness expression, Kempo speech, Manggarai language
Published online: 08 March 2021
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