a1 University of California, Santa Cruz
Six experiments examined the role of metaphorical knowledge in people's use and understanding of euphemisms and offensive expressions. Experiments 1 and 2 demonstrated that familiar euphemisms and dysphemisms are viewed as more appropriate and are easier to comprehend when there is a conceptual match between them and the context. The data from Experiments 3 and 4 showed a similar pattern for novel euphemisms and offensive phrases. Experiments 5 and 6 ruled out the hypothesis that the previous results were due to semantic priming. The findings from these experiments indicate that people's metaphorical conceptualization of a certain topic can influence the processing time and appropriate use of euphemistic and dysphemistic expressions.
c1 Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr., Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064