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  • Specific Usage of Euphemisms and Dysphemisms in Historical Discourse (as Exemplified in American High School History Textbooks)

Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Natalia Martiushova
Specific Usage of Euphemisms and Dysphemisms in Historical Discourse (as Exemplified in American High School History Textbooks)
2018
The proposed study will investigate the usage peculiarities of euphemisms and dysphemisms in historical discourse as exemplified in American high school history textbooks, specifically in chapters describing World war II and Cold war. Historical Discourse is a relatively new and underinvestigated phenomenon within linguistic studies. It is complex, multidimensional, polyfunctional and homogeneous; its homogeneity erases the boundaries between reality and virtuality and creates an “illusive world” “of smoke and mirrors,” in which dominates the strategy of perversion of the truth. More often than not, Historical Discourse corresponds to current policies, wherever that determines the interpretation of the past and constructs models of historical reality. One of the main effective language instruments of Historical Discourse in forming public opinion and interpreting historical events is the phenomenon of euphemisms and dysphemisms. In the framework of Historical Discourse, euphemisms and dysphemisms

can manipulate, creating the desired perception of historical events, which can differ from

what is stated in official documents. It is a well-known fact that it is in school that our system of attitudes and world view is formed, and history textbooks, functioning in Historical Discourse influence greatly our perception of historical events and Historical Discourse itself, as well as construct certain models of reality transferred to generations. The study suggests that the usage of euphemisms and dysphemism in high school history textbooks is one of the tools of shaping and creating a desired attitude towards historical events. The present study draws primarily on the works of A. Katzev, E. Sheigal, T. Abakova pertaining to the study of euphemisms and dysphemism, and on the works of A. Min'jar-Belorucheva and O. Plehova, which concentrate on historical discourse analysis.

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