Linguists showed their interest in studying lexemes with negative meaning not so long ago, so there is no developed and unanimously accepted theory on means of negative assessment. Topicality of this study is also connected to the fact that communication over the last decades is marked with the growth of negative information.

The article provides an overview of theoretical literature on the stated problem terms. Applying definitional and etymological analysis, we distinguish the terms «dysphemism», «slang», «vulgarism» and «invective» which are considered to be synonymous or are not fully defined in some studies. The article also highlights the problem of distinction between dysphemism and euphemism, which are traditionally contrasted in terms of utterance. We underline that the context plays the crucial role in their distinction since the same lexical unit can carry both positive and negative connotations in different communication situations.

The theoretical statements of the article are illustrated with examples from the corpus of comments on political news in the Internet newspapers of France and Russia. The pragmatic approach is applied to the analysis of examples (the macro context is taken into account), since it proves to be effective in determining the communicative purpose of utterance and analyzing the evaluative elements.

Our study has shown that dysphemism is a means of negative evaluation in general. Slang and vulgarism can have dysphemistic meaning, while invective is a type of dysphemism with the main idea of expressing aggression.

About the authors

M. G. Cheporukhina

University of Tyumen

Author for correspondence.
Email: morenov@ssau.ru
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1711-0786

3-year postgraduate student, assistant lecturer of the Department of French Philology


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