Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics

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(2,065 words)

Dysphemism (the opposite of euphemism) is a lexical resource in natural language, whereby lexemes are created for the purpose of combining denotation and negative attitude via a complex process of lexical compression. Just like euphemism, but with an opposite directionality, the process of dysphemizing produces cognitive synonyms that converge on denotation but diverge on attitude. For example, the Jordanian Arabic lexemes bitsammam ‘he is poisoning himself’ and ingalʿat ‘she has been extracted’ are dysphemistic counterparts of the neutral lexemes bōkil ‘he is eating’ and rawwa…

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Mohammed Farghal, “Dysphemism”, in: Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, Managing Editors Online Edition: Lutz Edzard, Rudolf de Jong. Consulted online on 21 May 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1570-6699_eall_EALL_SIM_0029>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004177024, 20090831

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