Advisees

 

Year

Name

Current Affiliation

2001

Dongmei Li

Hongjian Tan

Guangxi Normal University

Dongguan Polytechnic University

2002

Ji Liu

Aiyun Wei

Guangxi Normal University

Guangxi Normal University

2003

Chenghui Chen

Qi Gao

Zheng Li
Ying Liang

Xia Wang

Guifang Zhao

Nanjing University of Agricultural Science and Technology

Guangxi Normal University

Zhanjiang Normal University

Guangxi Medical University
Dongguan High School

Guilin No. 18 High School

2004

Chunhua Hu

Juanjiao Luo

Haiying Xiang

Huizhen Wang

Dongguan Polytechnic University; Shanghai International Studies University

Hunan University of Finance

Hunan University

High School of Guangxi Normal University

2005

Jianjun Tang

Xinhong Tang

Ping Zhang

Shaolan Zhang

Jiangxi Normal University

Jiangsu

School of Foreign Studies, Guilin University of Electronic Technology

Dept of College English, Guilin Institute of Tourism

2006

Yunhui Wei

Xueqing Liang

Ning He

Zhaojuan Xu

Yuping Zhou

Wensheng Tang

Pingxiang He

Yan Sun

Kaiwen Wang

Yuge Song

Dept of Foreign Language, Guilin Institute of Technology

Dept of College English, Guilin Medical College

 

 

Yunnan University of Minority Nationalities

College of Foreign Studies, Nanyang University

College of Foreign Studies, Jiangxi Normal University

Dept of Foreign Languages, Wuzhou College

 

Dept of Foreign Languages, Quanzhou Teachers’ College

2007

Wenbo Wang

Hui Xu

Yanqiong Zhou

Xia Tang

Xiaoya Qian

Yinwen Huang

Handong Li

Zifang Zhu

Liyuan Wang

Guizhi Xu

Linyu Xu

 

 

Guangxi Jiaotong Professional College

Zhanjiang Normal University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2008

Weizhen Ai

 

2009

Haiyan Luo

Yi He

 

 

Theses

(More MA theses)

Year

Title / Author / Current Affiliation / Thesis Abstract

2001

1.Relevance theory and listening comprehension  (by Dongmei Li) (Guangxi Normal University) (Abstract)

2.Value of context in verbal communication (by Hongjian Tan) (Dongguan Polytechnic University) (Abstract)

2002

1. The Cooperative Principle and its study in China (by Ji Liu) (Guangxi Normal University)  (Abstract)
2. Attitudinal study of Chinese English  (by Aiyun Wei) (Guangxi Normal University) (Abstract)

2003

1. The realization of compliments by Chinese teachers  (by Chenghui Chen) (Nanjing University of Agricultural Science and Technology) (Abstract)
2. The realization of "correcting" in Chinese classrooms (by Qi Gao) (Guangxi Normal University) (Abstract)
3. Internal, external expression of the translator’s subjectivity and its development: Study of the translator's subjectivity from the perspective of cognitive pragmatics  (by Zheng Li) (Zhanjiang Normal University) (Abstract)
4. A study of the system of Chinese English words  (by Ying Liang) (Guangxi Medical University) (Abstract)
5. On "waste" in high school English teaching and learning: Manifestations, causes, and countermeasures  (by Xia Wang) (Abstract)
6. A study of exemplification in middle school English teaching  (by Guifang Zhao) (Abstract)

2004

1. Leading through Language: A Pragmatic Study of  Leadership Language with Examples from Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping   (by Chunhua Hu) (Dongguan Polytechnic University)  (Abstract)
2. The meaning system of Chinese English (by Juanjiao Luo) (Hunan University of Finance)  (Abstract)
3. A Pragmalinguistic analysis of the speech act of fundraising   (by Haiying Xiang) (Hunan University) (Abstract)
4. (by Wang Huizhen) (Abstract)

2005

1. A Survey about the Adaptability of the Politeness Principle in Internet Chatting  (by Tang Jianjun) (Jiangxi Normal University) (Abstract)  
2. A Pragmatic Study of Address Forms by Chinese Students of English (by Tang Xinghong)  (Abstract)
3. A Study of the “Swearing” Speech Act in The Dream of the Red Chamber (by Zhang Ping) (Abstract)
4. A study on English learning strategy training among secondary vocational school students  (by Zhang Shaolan) (Guilin Tourism College) (Abstract)

2006

1. Creativity in Advertising: The Relevance Theory Approach (关联理论视角下的广告语创作研究) (by Yunhui Wei) (Abstract)

2. A Politeness Approach to Euphemism in Doctor-Patient Dialog (医患对话中委婉语的礼貌研究) (by Xueqing Liang) (Abstract)

3. A Comparative Study of Metaphors between Chinese and English Netspeak (英汉网络语言中隐喻的对比研究) (by Ning He) (Abstract)

4. Defining Word Meanings in Bilingual Dictionaries: A Pragmatic Perspective (语用学视角下的双语词典词语定义研究) (by Zhaojuan Xu) (Abstract)

5. Studies on Fictional Dialogue from the Perspective of Gricean Conversational Implicature Theory: A Case Study of Jane Eyre (格氏会话含义理论在《简.爱》会话语言中的应用研究) (by Yuping Zhou) (Abstract)

6. Fuzziness of Language in Stock and Bond Analysis (证券分析中的模糊语言) (by Wensheng Tang) (Abstract)

7. The Language of the NBA: A Linguistic Analysis of Impromptu NBA Commentaries (NBA语言研究--NBA即席解说词的语言学探析) (by Pingxiang He) (Abstract)

8. A Cross-Cultural Study On the Realization of the Speech Act of Introduction (“介绍言语行为的跨文化研究) (by Yan Sun) (Abstract)

9. Classification of Interlocutors and Its Effects On Communication (论对话者的角色类别及其对交际效果的影响) (by Kaiwen Wang) (Abstract)

10. A study on the speech act of bargaining in Chinese (汉语讨价还价言语行为研究) (by Yuge Song) (Abstract)

2007

1. Direct Request in Chinese (汉语直接请求言语行为研究) (by Wenbo Wang) (Abstract)

2. The Speech Act of Indirect Refusal in Contemporary Chinese (现代汉语“间接拒绝”言语行为研究) (by Hui Xu) (Abstract)

3. The Speech Act Realization of Thanking in A Dream of Red Mansions汉语感谢言语行为的研究:以《红楼梦》为例 (by Yanqiong Zhu) (Abstract)

4. A Contrastive Study of the Speech Act of Persuasion in Chinese and American English (中美劝说言语行为对比研究) (by Xia Tang) (Abstract)

5. Pragmatic Strategies in News Headlines: Beijing Daily’s Olympic news as a case study (新闻标题语用策略研究:《北京日报》奥运新闻个案考查) (by Xiaoya Qian) (Abstract)

6. Statement in Advertisement and Declarative Indirect Persuasion (广告产品陈述与陈述性间接劝服) (by Yinwen Huang) (Abstract)

7. The Necessity of Introducing Speech Act Theory into College English Writing Teaching: A Corpus based Analysis (引入言语行为理论指导大学英语写作教学的必要性:基于数据库的分析) (by Handong Li) (Abstract)

8. Gender Differences in Performing Invitation in Chinese (汉语邀请言语行为的性别差异研究) (by Zifang Zhu) (Abstract)

9. The Speech Act of “Thanking” in Chinese(汉语感谢言语行为研究) (by Liyuan Wang)  (Abstract)

10. A Study of the “Congratulating-Wishing” Speech Act in Modern Chinese (现代汉语祝颂言语行为研究)(by Guizhi Xu)(Abstract)

11. A Study on the Speech Act of Comforting in Chinese (汉语安慰言语行为研究) (by Linyu Xu) (Abstract)

 

Abstract

 

 

A Survey about the Adaptability of the Politeness Principle in Internet Chatting
Student: Jianjun Tang   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu     Date: 2005

        As an important pragmatics principle, the Politeness Principle (PP) has always been a focus of study over the past decades. Due to the diversity of cultures, nevertheless, researchers have come up with counterdata as to throw doubts in the explanatory adequacy of this principle. In my opinion, the PP which reflects much tropism, is still a principle that can be applied to people-to-people interaction in a large extent. Today apart from the true-life-communication, many people like to communicate on the internet, that is internet-communication. As a result, current research of pragmatics naturally extends to internet language and internet-communication, and the adaptability of the Politeness Principle in internet chatting becomes one of the topics under heated discussion
        This is an explicit study on the adaptability of the PP in internet communication.

        Through emails, a survey that contains five variables—“age”, ”sex”, ”character”, "occupation”, “time” was conducted on line. Then SPSS was adopted to analyze the mode, frequency, the relatedness of two samples, the relatedness of several samples.

        It was found that in internet-communication, PP’s maxims encounter challenges. In fact almost all the PP maxims and submaxims are subject to a certain extent of revision or rectification; the more cost to self, the more revision it should be made; in a likely manner, the more benefit to other, the more revision such a maxim is needed; however, less cost to self or less benefit to other maxims are less likely to revision needs.

       Accordingly, the adaptability degree of Leech’s Politeness Principle in internet chatting bears five levels:

       First level: Minimize dispraise of other,  Minimize antipathy between self and other  

       Second level: Minimize cost to other, Maximize praise of other, Minimize disagreement between self and other

       Third level: Maximize benefit to other, Minimize praise of self,  Maximize agreement between self and other

       Fourth level: Minimize benefit to self , Maximize sympathy between self and other

       Fifth level: Maximize cost to self , Maximize dispraise of self

       Such an adapted PP seems to be more adequate in explaining both the everyday interaction and internet communication.

Key words:  Politeness Principle, internet-communication, adaptability, survey    (To the top)

 

A Pragmatic Study of Address Forms by Chinese Students of English
      Student: Xinghong Tang   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2005

 

        This study investigates the speech act of address performed by Chinese students of English from the perspective of interlanguage pragmatics (ILP).

        Address forms, as an impressible linguistic phenomenon, have always been the object of sociolinguistic researches. From the angle of pragmatics, address is also a speech act, but few studies consider it a speech act, and few describe the patterns of address behaviour in a speech community. Although various speech acts are investigated in ILP, yet little has been done on the speech act of address performed by L2 learners, especially by Chinese ESL learners. 

        This study is confined to the student communitymainly investigating how Chinese students address their English or foreign teachers, focusing on the description of patterns of their address, and discussing the governing factors  and  causes for the patterns. It hopes to shed light on English language learning and teaching.

        Basing on the speech act theory, I defined the speech act of address in a contextual use of proper address forms to express some feelings or achieve some goals. And then the illocutionary forces and pragmatic functions of address are generally discussed.

        Questionnaire is mainly employed to get the data, and the informants of both lower-proficiency and higher-proficiency are the students from College of Foreign Studies in GXNU.

        The following findings and conclusions were obtained:

 

(i) Governing factors.

        The choice of address form is governed by various actors, and the importance degrees of these factors to Chinese students are different from those to native speakers. Among these factors, socio-culture plays an important role. The learners’ address is influenced by both English and Chinese cultures.

 

(ii)Pragmatic failure

        Most CS can follow the generally-accepted rules to address their foreign teachers, using TLN or FN, but still quite a few address teachers with TFN, or teacher, neither of which is proper to address a teacher in English culture. This is the phenomenon of pragmatic failure. The illocutionary forces produced through the misuse of address may be misunderstood by foreigners.

 

(iii)Pragmatic transfer

        Pragmatic failures are caused by two things: one is students’ not fully understanding pragmatic rules or norms of address in English, the other is the influence of Chinese language and culture on English addressing behavior, which is negative pragmatic transfer. Even advanced learners make pragmatic failures in TL.

        The study may help enhance Chinese learners’ awareness on polite address in cross cross-cultural communication and improve their communicative competences. Foreign language teachers can also get implication for their teaching methods, paying more attention on cultural teaching of speech acts.

Key words: speech act of address, address form, interlanguage pragmatics, Chinese students of English   (To the top)

 

A Study of the “Swearing” Speech Act in The Dream of the Red Chamber
     Student: Ping Zhang  Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2005

        This is an explicit study of the speech act of “li ma” or “swearing”. It narrowly defines swearing as those “ma” characters, expressions and clauses that contain the “ma” morpheme.

        Based on the Peking University database, this project sorted out over 90 sentences from The Dream of the Red Chamber, that fall under the Chinese “ma” definition for analysis, and probed into these apparently “ma” meaning-bearing expressions. The ultimate purposes of this study were to detect and determine the structural models of swearing, its pragmatic functions, pragmatic parameters, and strategies of response.

        It was found that swearing possesses 3 types of discourse structural models: appellational swearing, insulting swearing, and causal swearing. Then 30 odd pragmatic functions were reported in the study that strongly display their competences in helping people, as those in The Dream of the Red Chamber, to express their subtle feelings to the full in intricate situations and under complex mentality. Meanwhile, 4 pragmatic parameters were discovered in this analysis of data: the sex character of swearing explaining how sex as a pragmatic factor influences the speech act of swearing; the socio-cultural character of swearing demonstrating how 8 aspects of socio-cultural elements affect the realization of swearing in English and Chinese; the courtesy character of swearing, and the psycho-cognitive character of swearing. Finally in terms of responding strategies, the study evidenced that basically 3 types of strategies were used when confronting swearing: no response, expectant moderate response, and excessive response.

        Different from previous studies, this investigation confined its in-depth study of swearing by basing on the data in the masterpiece The Dream of the Red Chamber, and accordingly revealed the rudimental patterns of swearing. This is an example to exemplifying the utility and explanatory adequacy of pragmatics through concrete data. In addition, the study of swearing in The Dream of the Red Chamber might indirectly add understanding to our further appreciation in the magnitude of significance of this great work, though this was by no means our original intent.

 

Key words: The Dreams of the Red Chamber, swearing, discourse models, pragmatic functions, pragmatic parameters (To the top)

 

Attitudinal Study of Chinese English
     Student: Aiyun Wei  Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2002

 

        Chinese English is the English variety integrated into the social and cultural environments in China. It is referred to the English made by the Chinese people (who have grown up on the mainland of China only) in using English to express themselves, which is greatly influenced by the special thinking modes of the people and the styles of Mandarin in many ways.

        Researchers, out of different purposes or interests, looked at Chinese English from various angles. Rongpei (1991), for instance, holds that Chinese English is an objective reality, Li Wenzhong (1993) and Ge Chuangui (1980), for another instance, regard Chinese English as being free from Chinese transfer, and there is a striking difference between China English and Chinese English, while Xie Zhijuan (1995) and Zhang Peicheng (1995) contend that Chinese English is not a national variety of English. A similar view is from Chen Wencun (1999) who argues that it is unnecessary to see Chinese English as a regional variety in China. However, most of them focused on its definition, characters and functions, leaving many other aspects such as the status or treatment undiscussed. For that matter, this study specifically considers the attitudes toward Chinese English, and proposes a “basic treatment” it deserves. 

        The paper begins with the development and expansion of the English language throughout the world; summarizes the actual situation of the English in China and the study of the English there; points out the confusions left behind the study and the objective reality of Chinese English, probes into the cognitive and social accounts for its rational existence; and discusses the national guarantee of its status. On the basis of the comprehensive functioning of the above mentioned factors, to our understanding, the basic treatment of Chinese English is mainly reflected as below: first, Chinese English should be leniently treated; second, the rational existence of Chinese English should be recognized and accepted; third, new linguistic theory should be introduced to the study of Chinese English; forth, Chinese English is an indispensable English variety in intercultural communications between China and foreign countries; and finally, people should show their confidence towards the bright future of Chinese English.

 

        The study is of great importance either to the development of Chinese English, to the study of language variety or to the guidance of English teaching in China.


Key words:  Chinese English,  interlanguage theory,  sociolinguistic theory,  basic treatment  
(To the top)

 

The Realization of “Correcting” in Chinese Classrooms

     Student: Qi Gao  Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2003

        Correcting is frequently used in our daily life. However, there have been few studies addressing this issue. How do Chinese college students realize such a speech act?  What are the politeness formulas employed in their correcting? The questions still remain unsolved, thus are the aims of this study.

        The data is elicited from the students, 60 undergraduates, 34 females and 26 males, were randomly selected, varying from grade one to grade four, in the College of Foreign Studies of GuangXi Normal University, to write down their responses in Chinese in three situations.
        In Situation 1, where students role-play professors to correct their students, it was found that the subjects prefer to point out the occurrence of the mistake, instead of correcting directly. This pattern using “No correction” is different from the pattern using “ positive remark
[but]correction” shared by majority of Americans and Japanese, as was observed by Beebe and Takahashi (1993).
        In Situation 2 , where students correct professors, the subjects correct directly, but they employed various politeness devices.
        In Situation 3, where students correct students, the subjects correct directly and use less politeness devices.
        The study found that Chinese subjects in Situation 1 prefer to use positive remarks to preface the correction. In Situation 2, Chinese students enhance the politeness and soften the face-threatening by way of employing various politeness devices at a time in one response. In Situation 3, subjects employed less politeness devices to correct the mistake directly. These findings suggest that the theory of “face” restated by Brown & Levinson does exist in the performance of correcting. And it is also found that the percentage of the politeness devices used in Situation 2 is higher than politeness devices used in the rest of two situations, also is higher than Americans and Japanese used according to Beebe & Takahashi (1993). These findings show Chinese college students shift their politeness devices according to different people in different status and they are sensitive to social status.
        The findings of this study might help both foreign language teachers and foreign language learners to diminish the breakdowns of cross-culture communication when performing correcting.
        However, this study is confined to classroom correcting, and it would be interesting in the future to investigate how people out of classroom perform “correcting”, and if they also follow our models and politeness devices.  

Key Words:  correcting,  speech act,  face- threatening act, pattern,  politeness devices 
(To the top)

 

Relevance Theory and Listening Comprehension

 

     Student: Dongmei Li   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2001

 

        Mainstream listening comprehension researches to date can be roughly categorized into four tributaries. First of all, from a psycholinguistic perspective, researches approached listening comprehension from three interrelated and recursive processes: perceptual processing (focusing on the perception of sounds and storing them in memory), parsing (probing into how listeners use words to construct meaning) and utilization (examining into how listeners connect what is heard with what is already known). Secondly, by adopting the schema-theory, researchers envisaged listening comprehension as involving or displaying two opposite information processing orientations, top-down and bottom-up. During a top-down processing process, listeners are observed to deploy their knowledge of the world, situations and roles of human interaction to comprehend meaning; while in a bottom-up information retrieving process, listeners are observed to use their knowledge of words, syntax, and grammar to work on form. Then, from the pragmatic point of view, researchers attached great importance of context in listening comprehension. Finally, in the area of SLA research, scholars have demonstrated strong interests in finding out factors affecting the learners’ listening. Although these different perspectives have led to our overall understanding, nevertheless, our knowledge about the nature of listening comprehension process is still far from being complete.

        The Relevance Theory (RT) is first proposed by Sperber and Wilson (1986) in their book Relevance: Communication and Cognition. Over the decade, it has been widely and successfully applied to analyze stylistic features, translation, syntax, discourse, literature, and media discourse and so on and so forth. Nevertheless, literature on its application to listening comprehension is scantly documented. This thesis is an explicit attempt to explain listening comprehension under the Relevance framework.

        As far as I can see, interpreted from the RT perspective, (1) the aim of listening comprehension is to obtain the speaker’s intended meaning. While grasping the speaker’s informative intention, the listener’s attention should be paid to the speaker’s communicative intention. (2) As for the nature of listening comprehension is concerned, it is an inferential process in which the listener uses his encyclopedic, logical and lexical knowledge to process the incoming new information. In other words, the listener searches from his assumptions about the world in his preference and ability the most relevant information to complement the lacking premises for inference. (3) Different from our familiar conception of context, which utterance comprehension heavily relies on, it is a dynamic psychological construct and developed in the course of interaction. What is more, the selection of it is governed by the principle of relevance. How to search the optimal relevant information to form a context for inference within the limited time is the key to improve the efficiency of listening comprehension. (4) Due to differences of individuals’ cognitive environments, the result of comprehension to one utterance could not be the same. The same utterance, inferred in different context, might result in utterly different understandings, though all interpretations could be explained as the optimal and most appropriate on the part of listeners.

        Based on the RT interpretation of the listening comprehension process, I concluded: 

 

        (1) that it is imperative to reconsider the teachers’ role of a listening course. As far as I am concerned, listening comprehension course in present China is of transactional nature, and students in such a course have rare chance to interact with the speaker. An evident aspect is that the students’ comprehension of the listening materials is reflected in answering the questions raised by the teacher. In this case, the teacher’s intention is what the students need to recover in order to answer the question correctly. The question itself and the optional answers for a multi-choice are factors that constrain the students searching for optimal relevance. In a certain degree, the teacher in this situation is actually a communicator rather than only a guide or what is even worse, an onlooker.

 

        (2) that teachers should choose the appropriate listening materials for the students. The materials should embody some interaction with the students’ cognitive environment. Too old or too new incoming information may have little contextual effects, thus have low degree of relevance to attract the students attention to process the information.

 

        (3) that teachers should help in every way the students to recognize the speaker’s intention which is a core part of communicative competence. These might include choosing materials that interact directly to the students, using video to assist and discriminating the suprasegmental features to help the students grasp the meaning behind the words.

 

        (4) in the news listening comprehension teaching, the teacher can help the students develop the context by selecting the current broadcasting news and topic, and teaching to constrain the students searching for relevant background information for comprehension.

Keywords: listening comprehension
relevance theorylistening teaching    (To the top)

 

Values of Context in Verbal Communication

 

Student: Hongjian Tan  Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2001

 

        Context is a common concern in not only linguistics, sociolinguistics, but also pragmatics. Out of various interests, researchers have initiated studies from different perspectives. Nevertheless, what are some of the values a context may pose? This is certainly a fundamental issue in the understanding of context. Unfortunately, there is little mentioning of this in the rich literature of context analyses, and up till now, there exists no such studies. As an explicit examination into the values of context, this project is believed to add to our knowledge about context. 

        By synthesizing traditional views and pragmatic views on context, we found that context in verbal communication is factors abstracted from concrete communicative settings (both immediate physical and social) having influence on communicators in the interacting process. In addition, these factors are actually a pool of common background knowledge mutually manifest to the participants, and have impacts on the linguistic forms chosen for uttering, the appropriateness of uttering, and the meaning of utterance.

        By absorbing the latest discoveries in context discussions, we took a dynamic attitude towards context, and held: (i) that context is not given, immutable, or pre-existing before the interaction takes place, but to a great extent, created by communicators as contextualization cues in their utterances.  What is more, it keeps changing and expanding in the process as the interactants’ mutual knowledge expands. (ii) that context is not static. Aspects of context can be intentionally manipulated and made use of by communicators as a communicative strategy.

        Since successful communication is always characterized by the successful expression of intention on the part of the utterer, and the successful comprehension of the intention on the part of the hearer, in other words, successful conveyance and comprehension of communicative meanings of utterances are key access to successful communication, hence we concluded that context plays a cardinal and decisive role, and exhibits colossal values in verbal communication, which are manifest in four ways:

        (i) Imposing constraints on communicators in the process of interaction so as to provide a common ground for uttering an d comprehension. Owing to the constraints, the utterer is limited to make contextually appropriate utterances to express his or her intention. The hearer restricts the range of meanings with context and come up with the understanding of the utterer’s real intention.

        (ii) Supplying enough proofs for the understanding of utterance meanings so as to speed up the hearer’s recognition of the utmost intention of the utterer.

        (iii) Manipulating contextual elements to achieve communicative goals. Communicators can make use of the immediate physical environments or activate from the pool of shared knowledge relevant schemata to establish or re-establish a context beneficial for attaining communicative goals.

        (iv) Adding beauty of speech both in form and content. Careful consideration and planning of phonemes in their co-text, harmonious allocation of words and phrases, and balanced arrangement of sentences in discourse make utterance well weighted and phonetically musical. Besides, context can be exploited to enhance the expressiveness of utterance.

        The significance of this study is both theoretical and practical. Theoretically speaking, it helps to widen or enrich the discussion of context, and pragmatically speaking, it enhances our sense of context and facilitates effective ways of verbal communication.

        The limitation of this study lies in that this is but a preliminary analysis of context in terms of values. And during our discussion, we came to realize that the value of context might even contribute to the growth of our pragmatic competence. However, this is out of the scope of this paper, and could be only a topic for future investigations.

 

 

Keywords:  context, verbal communication,  value   (To the top)

 

On ‘waste’ in high school English teaching and learning:
Manifestations, causes, and countermeasures

MEd: Xia Wang    Supervisors: Shaozhong LiuFengrong Liao      Date:  2003


        This paper studies wastes in high school English teaching and Learning. By waste, we mean the disproportionate paradox of ‘high investment, but low efficiency’ phenomenon in the high school English teaching and learning.
        Many people have been doing researches on English teaching and learning, but most of them focus on how to teach and how to learn, and few concern the output of investments in English teaching and learning.
        In order to reveal the manifestations and causes of waste in high school English teaching and learning, we handed out questionnaires in four high schools in Guangdong province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region. It was found that:
        Waste exists in high school English teaching and learning, the manifestations are as follows: 1)unnecessary repetition, 2)leaving Multimedia equipment unused, 3)low efficiency, 4)high marks but poor abilities, 5)learning separated from application, 6)excessive materials for learning, 7)waste of time.
        To us the causes of the waste are: 1)absence of a proper social and cultural environment, 2)unclear recognition of the teaching targets and evaluation of high school English education in social education, 3)improper handling the relationship between the left and right hemisphere of human cerebra, 4)non-scientific teaching syllabus and education management system, 5)poor qualities and inadequate teaching techniques of teachers, 6)high school students’ improper attitudes and methods towards English learning,;
        To eliminate and avoid waste in high school English teaching and learning and the paper suggests taking the following possible countermeasures:1)establish a good social environment for high school English teaching and learning, 2)Reform the teaching management system and teaching syllabus and make the management activities more scientific, 3)improve the qualities of high school teacher of English and the efficiency of classroom teaching activities as well as teaching methods; make high school English teaching more scientific, 4)help students to develop proper attitudes towards English learning and improve their methods of learning English.
        The study is significant. It will help to improve the efficiency of high school English teaching and learning; to lighten the students pressure in English learning and enhance the students’ interests in English learning. However, this is but a preliminary study on the issue. Further studies are expected to gather more sources of data and to probe into the courses and countermeasures in English teaching and learning.   

Key words:  waste manifestations, causes, countermeasures, high school English teaching
(To the top)

 

The Realization of Compliments by Chinese Teachers
     Student: Chenghui Chen   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2003

        Compliment is a positively affective speech act. It can be referred to as ‘a complex sociolingistic skill,’ which serves to save people’s faces, to increase or consolidate the solidarity between the speaker and the addressee and create or maintain rapport (Janet Holmes, 1988). In 1981 Joan Manes and Nessa Wolfson pioneered the study on compliment by examining the speech of middle-class native speakers in USA. They found that compliments in American English showed a striking regularity not only in their syntactic patterns but also in their semantic composition. Mark L. Knapp, Robert Hopper, Robert A. Bell, Janet Holmes and Donna M. Johnson continued the study from different angles or in different cultural backgrounds. Most of the scholars, however, studied it in isolation, except Johnson, who looked into the specific context of peer-review texts and considered it as discourse framing strategies on the discourse level. This paper aims to study the Chinese teacher’s complimenting behavior to reveal its structure, function and effect.

        I collected a corpus of 183 compliments of teachers through observing or interviewing teachers and students of some primary and high schools in Guilin, Jinan and Dezhou, etc. Analyses were made on the levels of lexicon, syntax, semantics and discourse. On the lexical level, the discussion focused on the lexical items to carry the positive evaluations of compliments. It was found that adjectives, in contrast to verbs and nouns, are preferred to serve as the carriers. Compared with the findings about English compliments, the adjectives in the Chinese teaching context are more varied. The examination on the syntax of compliments revealed a similar patterned feature to that in English compliments. A special attention was paid to such mitigating devices as “I feel” and “is it right,” which were considered as politeness strategies to redress the face threatening force of compliments. The semantic concern in this study was on the contents of compliments. The contents of the teacher’s compliments are pre-conditioned by the task of teaching and education, so they are mainly directed at the performance, personal qualities, words or thought of students. The discourse analysis of compliments revealed six types of complimenting discourse patterns. They are one or a series of independent complimenting utterances or combinations of compliments with such expressions as new information, criticisms or directions. In the latter case, they are again politeness strategies to redress the face-threatening acts of criticizing or directing, etc. 

        Four categories of compliments have been observed in terms of function: affirmative, heuristic, encouraging and critical. The affirmative compliment refers to the teacher’s positive evaluations of students in good time according to their words, thought or actions, especially their accomplishments. It has a strong sense of inspiration, whereby the teacher can stimulate students to go on smoothly in the right way. The heuristic compliment is a type of commonly used compliment, whereby the teacher arouses students’ positive emotions and enlightens their cognition so as to activate their thinking. This kind of compliment can help students solve problems on their own by developing their own resources. The encouraging compliment is very frequently used in the process of teaching and education. Through the encouraging compliment the teacher arouses students’ passions and changes the teacher’s and society’s expectations into students’ motivation or interest so as to enhance their sense of honor and responsibility and the spirit of struggle. The main characteristic of encouraging compliments is that they are full of excitement, praise and inspiration and therefore can easily yield notable results. The critical compliment is a special kind of positive evaluation, whereby the teacher endeavors to find out ‘the flash of light’ of students and in a complimenting way points out their shortcomings or mistakes so as to urge them to perfect themselves and make progress. As a matter of fact, the critical compliment is a kind of typical indirect speech act and it can be referred to as a ‘sugar-coated pill.’ The critical compliment helps protect students’ faces and self-esteem and simultaneously arouses their desire to do better. Just as some teachers said, the critical compliment is a ‘golden principle,’ which has strong appeal.

        Then, I designed a questionnaire in the light of data collected as well as my own teaching experience in order to investigate the perlocutionary effects of critical compliments on students. I delivered 900 copies of the questionnaire to nine grades of students, 100 copies for each grade. These subjects were distributed in nine primary and high schools in Guilin. A total of 812 copies was retrieved. It turned out that critical compliments, in contrast to criticisms, can be more effective to students’ steady growth. However, there also remain some differences of the attitudes towards critical compliments and criticisms in the light of age or sex. Although students show some different psychological characteristics in different age periods, one thing is certain that critical compliments are a kind of highly effective means of teaching and education for all the students of different ages. The chi-square test was used to examine the relationship between the perlocutionary effects of critical compliments and sex. It proved that these two are highly related. Due to their psychological features, girls both thirst for the teacher’s compliments and are repelled by the teacher’s criticisms more than boys. So the teacher should encourage and praise girls more than boys so as to help them overcome their sense of self-abasement and get ahead in their lives. This is of great importance in teaching and education and should be paid more attention to by the teacher.

 

        To sum up, a compliment, especially a critical compliment, is a highly effective means of teaching and education and plays a significant role in classrooms. Hence, the teacher should know its structures, pay attention to its functions and master its techniques so as to better carry out complimenting behavior in teaching and promote students’ healthy growth.  


Key words: compliment, structure, function, effect, Chinese teachers   (To the top)

 

Leading through Language: A Pragmatic Study of  Leadership Language with Examples from

Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping

     Student: Chunhua Hu  Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2004

        Leadership language, in a sense, has been studied from the perspective of language art in the past decades. Few studies, however, have been conducted in the light of pragmatic theories, among which the Cooperative Principle (CP) and the Politeness Principle (PP) are of great importance. Do leaders follow the CP and the PP, and if so, in what ways respectively? What implications do the two principles have for effective leading through language respectively? All these thorny questions still remain unanswered issues, thus being the topics of this study.

        It was hypothesized that leaders follow the CP and the PP, and they might apply some linguistic devices into leading. In addition, examples in leadership language may provide many implications for effective leading.

        With Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping as data source, we analyzed leadership language from the perspective of the CP and the PP. Evidences were cited from the book to illustrate the applicability of the CP and the PP in leadership language. The examples were then examined and classified.  

        Leaders were found, in their efforts to lead the masses in social-economical-cultural activities, to follow the CP and the PP in performing their speech acts. In order to effect leading, many linguistic devices might be applied, such as metaphor, coinage, parody, etc.

        In addition, some implications for effective leading could be proposed. As two essential principles in conversation, the CP and the PP can be applied to leadership language. Therefore, leaders are expected to pay attention to these two principles as to effect leading. Finally, examples selected seemed to support the CP and the PP, hence their explanatory significance in leadership language.

        Nevertheless, there are many limitations in the study. Firstly, this thesis looked at leadership language by only investigating examples from Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping. For an adequate study of leadership language, various forms of leadership language are needed. Secondly, we chose the CP and the PP as our theoretical background to analyze leadership language. However, modern pragmatic theories are so rich that one or two principles are not likely to fully account for this complicated linguistic phenomenon. These might be the topics of future research. 


Key words: leadership language; the Cooperative Principle; the Politeness Principle;  Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping   (To the top)

 

A Study on the System of Chinese English Words

Student: Ying Liang   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2003


        In the last twenty years, the discussion about Chinese English has become more and more ferrous. A lot of research has been done on this subject and they are of great help for us to understand Chinese English as a whole, yet no explicit description has been made to spell out the identifying features that Chinese English words bear. Therefore we are unable to spell out the whole scene of the Chinese English lexical system. Hence the task of this study.
        By Chinese English words, we mean words that reflecting the Chinese Culture. By the system of Chinese English words, we mean a categorization that is exhaustive of the total words and contents of these words within the variety of English in China. It was found that the system of Chinese English words consists of three categories: core words, which are fundamental words used in every single English conversation; words and expressions only used in Chinese English, which are sometimes called “Chinese Borrowing in English”; and English words used differently in Chinese English.
        China Daily
’s “Nation” column was randomly selected to verify the use of Chinese English words. It was found that the three categories of words were distributed as 88.21%, 11.57% and 0.22%.
        The study is significant in that, instead of wrestling over the existence of Chinese English, it goes deeper into the question by locating the marking features of Chinese English lexicon and providing a working definition for it. It is also meaningful to arouse Chinese English words awareness in English teaching in China and to provide ways for leading material development and dictionary making.

 


Key Words: Chinese English, System of Chinese English words, Study   (To the top)

 

A Pragmatic Analysis of the Speech of Fundraising
Student: Haiying Xiang   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2004

        Fundraising pervades our lives. It surrounds us with attempts to influence us to feel, to think, and to act. Researches on fundraising have been undertaken, however, from the perspectives of law, management and auditing. Few studies have been conducted to language for fundraising, especially on linguistic and pragmtic focuses. Is the language composition for fundraising an arbitrary one? Are there any internal mechanisms or regularities in its performance? Can they be supported and explained by linguistic and pragmatic theories? All these perplexed issues still remain unaddressed and will be the concentrations of our analysis.

        Based on the authentic material such as fundraising proposals, advocates, letters, e-mail letters, slogans and advertisements collected, we endeavor to uncover the regularities underlying in language form within pragmaliguistic framework and disclose the pragmalinguistic strategies in fundraising.

        We elicit a hypothesis that there exists some internal mechanisms or regularities in fundraising language on which pragmalinguistic theories have explanatory power. And examples in fundraising language may provide some implications for effective fundraising.  
        We discovered the language for fundraising is very complex, varied and dynamic and is not organized at random but influenced by a variety of forces on the ground of the fundraisers intentional manipulation of the whole linguistic systems. Thus pragmalinguistic patterns such as Narrativity, Causality, Numeration, Commitment, Suggestiveness, Thankfulness, Addressor& Addressee Orientation have been worked out. In addition to that, as a communicative activity, evidence shows that a great quantity of fundraising data in verbal form is an intentional manifestation to the potential audience on the part of the fundraiser which echoes Sperber and Wilson’s standpoint of OSTENSION (2001, 49) in communication. The audiences’ involvement of inference in fundraising suggests that Grice’s INFERENTIAL MODEL of communication has explanatory power to fundraising language. It seems to us that both Grice’s and Sperber and Wilson’s communicative theory can serve to explain the fundraising communicative activity. Furthermore, with regard to the pragmalinguistic strategies that we have so far disclosed in this thesis, all the strategies that fundraisers implemented, for the sake of influencing the audiences’ action via language, be it Performing, Implicating, Politeness and Economy, proof that pragmatic theories such as SA, CP, PP and Zipf’s Least Effort Theory have explanatory power in some genres of verbal texts such as fundraising as well as conversational data. Conversely, data on fundraising language can function as examples to support these above mentioned theories. We hope this analysis will fill in the gap in the linguistic sphere concerning the language of fundraising. We hope it will enrich the range of research in the world of language and will shed light on English learning and teaching in China.
        Despite of all the above discoveries, there still exists certain limitations in this paper, when viewed in the scope of analysis, a focus that is simultaneously too narrow and too broad. On the one hand, there is much more to be touched upon than what we covered in our paper. On the other hand, the relatively comprehensive taxonomy conjunction with article length restrictions has left our treatment of concerned analysis rather brief.
        The research so far conducted is only a preliminary involvement, and further in-depth work is appreciated from the following aspects: Firstly, as an investigation of the internal pragmalinguistic mechanisms underlying data of fundraising, this analysis might have left certain regularities undiscovered. Further studies might be done to fulfill its exhaustiveness. Secondly, as we all know language exists in time and changes through time, the study on the fundraising language at a certain point or period in time and the investigation of it as it changes through time might be of great academic value. So it would be a great accomplishment if a SYNCHRONIC and DIACHRONIC exploration being made. Thirdly, fundraisers from different culture might undertake their fundraising via language differently due to differentiated thinking patterns and cultural peculiarities. A cross-cultural comparison and contrast concerning the fundraising language should enjoy its academic value as well. All these mentioned above will be within our future investigation.


Key Words:  Language for fundraising,   Pragmalinguistics Framework, Patterns, Strategies 
(To the top)

 

Internal, External Expression of the Translator’s Subjectivity and Its Development

---- Study of the Translator’s Subjectivity from the Perspective of Cognitive Pragmatics

Student: Zheng Li   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu     Date: 2003

        Traditional philology study lays emphasis on word and overstresses the translator’s “foolish fidelity”.  His work has not socially acknowledged.  Paradoxically, it rejects the study of the object and attributes the comprehension of the object to the translator’s intuition and inspiration. This objection of analysis will naturally lead to mysticism.  Structuralism brings us analytical methods. Through the analysis of the object, we can master the object better by cognizing its inner hierarchy and structure. In this way, people can get rid of the mystery and incomprehensibility and they can focus on the linguistic and textual structure. The translation mode of structuralism linguistics has achieved remarkable achievements, and tries to establish translatology  (the science of translation) by the law of transfer of codes. For example,  American scholar E. Nida and German scholar Wilss put forward such a slogan. In china, Tan Zaixi has also proposed the science of translation. Although, structural linguistics is a scientific theory in cognizing language as a system, it is inadequate to explain language in use, i.e. utterance, such as rejection of subject and context. According to structuralism, language is a static and closed system, which is a mechanic symbol pattern.  However, in translating practice, what are involved are utterances with different contexts and subjects. Thus, the meaning has dynamic and generative features.

        Sperber and Wilson (1986;1995) advanced relevance theory which is a new development of pragmatics. It holds that understand natural language we must rely on ostension and inference The communicator’s utterance always provides information with optimal relevance, and the audience always chooses an assumption of the most optimal relevance to infer the communicator's  intention. The linguistic codes of an utterance reflect the propositional contents and the communicator’s attitude. That is what ostension means.

        Human’s cognition tends to maximal relevance, and communication is governed by the search for optimal relevance. 
        Gutt(1989;1991)put forward relevance translation theory, according to which translation is communication. It is also an inferential process. The object of translation study is human’s brain mechanism and the ultimate goal the translator tries to attain is the optimal relevance which is also the principle and criterion for the study of translation

        The translating process is a cognitive process in search for the relevant chain and optimal  relevance. The translator should convey the author’s communicative intention in the circumstance of concrete context and different audiences 
        The translator’s duty /task is to make the author’s intention meet the target reader’s expectation. However, it does not mean the translator should change all the implicatures into explicatures.  The translator plays double functions, the receptor and the producer. The translator should find first of all find out the implicature from the explicature of the SL text by means of all the communicative clues available and then by inferring the cognitive environment of the audience choose from the various potential the optimal relevant one, which thus best help the audience infer the image or message intended by the SL communicator. The rule of optimal relevance is believed to be able to match, to the greatest possible extent, the SL communicator’s intention with the TL audience’s expectation. Translation is triple relationship, however, it occurs only in the translator’s mind. In translating practice, he will confront many obstacles and choices that he must overcome and make decisions. The translator’s brain is just like a filter processing messages. His subjectivity refers to his inferential process, information processing capability, presented by his decision-making and choices in concrete contexts. It is the interaction of inference, interpretation, transfer and expression. For an utterance, he may have in his mind many potential interpretations and he has to choose one of them and express it in the target language, abandoning all the others.  He may employ “Mean-Ends strategy” (Haberlandt, 1944: 372-374) which can be expressed here as two questions: 1)what is the biggest difference between A and B ? 2) By what means can I reduce the difference to the minimum degree ?

        Most problems are too complicated to be solved in one move.  It is a recursive procedure  that can be used until the problem is solved regardless of the type of problem or domain ranging  from a lexical to a textual one.  The ultimate goal is to find the optimal relevance in the  audience’s context by filtering the information input.

        Translation study involves the translator’s subjective consciousness which cannot be  separated from the mental and psychological activities. Humans can not only perceive and  receive outside information but can also create new language forms to express new ideas. A translator without his subjectivity cannot use his language creatively, and cannot transfer or express the intentions and images of the original text, thus making a stylistic or psychological blunder in choosing his context.

        The external form of the translator’s subjectivity

        The external form of the translator’s subjectivity can be seen as the following: First, the translator more often than not chooses the subject which he is familiar with or which even shares the same spirit or disposition with him, thus, he may easily find out the optimal relevance between the context in the source text and that of the target text.

        Second, he is able to employ different approaches and skills in dealing with a problem caused by contextual differences because significant mismatches in contextual information can not only lead to wrong meaning here and there, but can also affect the communicability of substantial parts of the original or even the original as a whole.

        Last, he may as well choose his style, sentence structure and expressions, according to his translation purposes, his own preference, and his evaluation of his reader’s cognitive context. The translator always works under some restrictions such as the social background, patrons, cultural misinterpretations, differences in thinking modes and expression methods. Even the traditional translation criteria may also be a restriction to the translator’s subjectivity. The traditional methods request the translator free himself of his personal feelings. According to Gutt, translation itself is a relevant notion and it is interpretive resemblance. The translator’s subjectivity is not aimed to duplicate everything of the original. Besides more practice in translating and possessing more relevant knowledge of the subject to be translated, he has to control the balance of the implicatures and explicatures, for an implicature in the SL text may be an explicature in the TL text and verse versa.

        In some cases, he cannot transfer all the values of the original, then he decides which one is the most important and employs pragmatic equivalence instead of semantic equivalence.

        Translation is both science and art.  An understanding of the translator’s subjectivity may help create a meaningful environment in which translators and translation theorists from different translators can draw upon another’s experiences. With the development of cognitive pragmatics, the study of the translator’s subjectivity may serve a unique insight to the study of theory.


Key words: relevance theory, subjectivity, Gutt, context, interaction, restriction, development  (To the top)

 

A Study on Exemplification in Middle School English Teaching

MEd: Guifang Zhao    Supervisor:  Shaozhong Liu     Date:  2003


        In order to improve the quality of classroom teaching of English and of language input in classroom teaching in particular, teachers usually adopt a variety of teaching methods and techniques to achieve the teaching goals, among which exemplification is a most common technique used by teachers.
        Exemplification in middle school English teaching aims at facilitating language comprehension, developing further cognition and promoting classroom interaction. Typical examples can help to stimulate students to think actively, and gradually foster a creative competence. Exemplification can simplify the problems students meet, link perceptual knowledge with conceptual knowledge effectively and thus make the learning of English easy and interesting. To teachers, it is a kind of teaching skill and to students, a kind of learning strategy. As a result, exemplification is so popular that it can be found in the whole course of teaching.
        However, when examining the status quo of the English classroom teaching, we regret to find that traditional classroom teaching pays little attention to how and when to use examples. The past decades have found that linguists and educators have put out numerous articles and works on language teaching, which are helpful both in theoretical  instructions and  practical teaching. Yet there are few articles on the topic of exemplification. So the thesis is an explicit study on exemplification in English teaching in schools.
        This thesis results from consulting documents, classroom observation, interview, analysis of other teachers’ teaching plans and referring to the notes of preparations for teaching etc. It is consists of seven parts.
        The first part comes as an introduction. Part II sets forth the relation between exemplification and middle school English teaching, with a focus on the definition of exemplification as well as its function. By referring to the relevant studies, the thesis discusses the value of all the precious studies in Part III. Part IV &V divide exemplification into different types according to its purposes and ways of presentation, and point out the various problems that exist in the course of exemplification. Effective exemplification in English teaching is discussed in Part VI, the core of this thesis, where it was demonstrated that efficient exemplification should follow the following:

  • Examples should reflect what the learners really need, or the lacks and necessities.
  • The content of the examples should be valuable from the aspect of language ,and display the characteristic of the English language.
  • Examples should be of  interest, and reflect concerns for the students feeling and attitude so that they can be highly motivated and, therefore, learn more actively and independently.
  • Exemplification should be stimulating, and leave something for the students to think so that they can develop their own learning strategies as well as creative competence.
  • Sources of examples should be vast and varied.

 

        Further more, it was suggested that certain principles for exemplification should be observed, in other words, exemplification must be
· instructive;
· cognitive and affective;
· scientific;
· enlightening;
· student-related.
        The seventh part is a conclusion.
        Evolving from the exemplification of concept, function, significance and types etc. focusing on the actual situation in middle schools, this paper addresses ways and principles of how to exemplify in classroom English teaching. It may be of helps to English teaching, material development and dictionary making.

Key words: middle school English teaching, exemplification, cognition, subject  (To the top)

 

A Study on English Learning Strategy Training among
Secondary Vocational School Students

 

MEdShaolan Zhang    Supervisors:  Shaozhong LiuLiao Fengrong   Date: 2005

        There is a concept in the field of pedagogy and psychology that the aim of school is to make student an independent, effective learner. How to use effective learning strategies and how to learn will help to improve the language learning proficiency and the efficiency of English teaching. In China, the Education Ministry has set the main goal of English teaching and learning as “developing the students’ language learning strategies” for the basic education. Research on language learning strategies has been a key issue in foreign language teaching in the recent thirty years. Especially in western context, the concern with teaching and learning has shifted from the teachers’ teaching to the students’ learning. Some researchers consider promoting learning proficiency by means of strategy training to make learners more autonomous in language learning.
        This paper aims to develop the learners’ language learning strategies, focusing on strategy training in order to make a difference to secondary vocational school students’ (SVSS) language learning. An experiment was designed to train SVSS in actual ability of using learning strategies for the following detailed objectives: (1) the overall patterns of language strategy used by secondary vocational school students before the strategy training which provide considerable pre-condition for actual strategy training; (2) the change of students’ academic scores after the strategy training, and the effort of strategy training on secondary vocational school students’ language learning. Through the experiment we want to test the effectiveness of strategy training which may indicate: the learning strategies can be obtained by SVSS through strategy training, students’ academic scores can be improved; and students can benefit from the strategy training to become more autonomous in language learning.
        This thesis first looks into the brief introduction of language learning strategies, including the definition and classification. Based on the former researches at home and abroad, we gain our concept of language learning strategies: learning strategies are a set of steps and techniques learners use in order to learn and use language more effectively. Learning strategies are behaviors of learners which can be mental or observable. Learning strategies are used by learners consciously or unconsciously. Learning strategies can directly or indirectly help learners to learn language more effectively. Learning strategies include metacognitive strategies, cognitive strategies and social/affective strategies ( O’Malley & Chamot,1990)
         The training model—strategies-based instruction (SBI) which is a learner-centered approach including explicit and implicit integration of strategies into course content is showed in this paper.  
         Strategy training program based on Oxford’s Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) includes diagnosing language learning strategies, raising strategy awareness and carrying out actual strategy training. Before actual strategy training, carrying out an investigation, we gained the information about students’ strategies use
meanwhile, raise the students’ strategy awareness. Based on it, strategies for SVSS were selected and the training plan was made including long-term and short-time training
        The investigation into learning strategies use was carried out in three secondary vocational schools in which some questionnaires and interviews were used. The data was collected through the investigation and then a measurable analysis of the results gathered in the investigation was made: SVSS were incapable of applying learning strategies; Their self-management was reduced; The learning skills they used were more traditional, and mechanical while good learners could employ some inferential strategies. SVSS had strong desire in English learning but less interest, and their purpose of English learning was more instrumental, just for the great value of an English level certification and a better job in the future. In the investigation, students come to get the knowledge of learning strategies, their strategy awareness has been raised.
        The actual strategy training was carried out in listening, speaking, reading and writing lasting one year. Learning strategies were incorporated into the regular classroom learning activities. After the training, students have gained more knowledge of learning strategies and improved their language proficiency.
        The results of the study indicate: (1) SVSS can benefit from the strategy training, make connection between language learning and strategies using (2) Learning strategies can be obtained by SVSS through strategy training, and it identifies possible factors that strategy training can greatly influence their language learning. (3) Strategy training takes time; Short-time and long-term strategy training are both effective;(4) Individual strategies instruction is necessary.
        The study is significant. It will help to improve the efficiency of secondary vocational school English teaching, and lighten the SVSS pressure in English learning. However, further studies are expected to assess the usefulness of different techniques for strategy training.

Key words: learning strategies, strategy  training, findings and conclusion   (To the top)

 

The Speech Act of Indirect Refusal in Chinese

Student: Hui Xu  Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

Recently scholars have studied refusal from angles such as the speech act theory, and the politeness principle. Some even compared Chinese English learners and English native speakers’ similarities and differences when performing refusal. However, few studies examined Chinese and foreign Chinese learners’ performance of refusals. Accordingly, this article probed into Chinese and foreign Chinese learners’ refusal strategies.

The subjects include 55 university students of both Chinese native speakers of non-language majors and international students of Chinese majors. This study adopts Beebe, Takahashi & Uliss-Weltz (1990)’s classified “semantic formulae” of refusal speech act and the frame of cross-cultural studies. The result of the analysis shows that the subjects of the two groups have similarities when performing refusal speech act, that is to say, they prefer the indirect strategies in most cases and adopts various remedial measures. However, the two groups display their respective characteristics. For example, although the indirect strategies are in common use in the two groups, there exist great differences in use frequency and preference. Chinese subjects’ indirect strategies are much richer, the syntactic and lexical means that they turn to are more and the refusals are more direct than foreign students of Chinese. Although foreign students of Chinese are aware of the means of indirect refusal, their performance is unsatisfactory because of their poor pragmatic competence.

This study is valuable to teaching Chinese to foreigners, to helping Chinese as target language learners improve their communicative skills, and to understanding Chinese culture at a deeper level. Besides, the study may also carry implications to English language teaching to the extent that Chinese students of English develop stronger cultural awareness when learning English, and know better about the similarities and differences of indirect refusal in both their native tongue and target language. All these may eventually contribute to successful cross-cultural communication.

 

Key Words: Indirect Refusal; Refusal Strategies; Frequency; Pragmatic Competence   (To the top)

 

A Comparative Study on Chinese and English Metaphors in Netspeak

Student: Ning He   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2006

 

        With the development of internet technology and the more and more frequent communication mediated by computers, Netspeak, a new language variety, gradually came into being. Now Netspeak has aroused more and more attention. In order to make the computer mediated communication more efficient, especially the cross-cultural communication, it is very important to do the comparative study between the Chinese and English Netspeak.

The thesis takes metaphor in Netspeak as the subject of the research. Based on the theories of metaphor at home and abroad, the author makes a comparative study between Chinese and English Netspeak from several aspects including classification, features, function and the relation to the context. The author tries to find the common features and differences, and explores their reasons.

         The thesis finds that the common features and differences of metaphors between Chinese and English Netspeak coexist. On the one hand, due to the nature of metaphor, the similar experiences and mutual influences, many common features exist. Metaphor in both Chinese and English Netspeak can be classified into different categories according to the different standards. Metaphor plays an important role in many aspects of Netspeak including the word-formation. Without the special context of internet communication, we can’t fully and correctly understand metaphor in Netspeak. Many English netlingoes enter Chinese Netspeak directly because of the domination of America in economy and internet technology. Metaphors in these words are reserved, so a lot of metaphorical English netlingoes have corresponding ones in Chinese Netspeak. On the other hand, because of the differences in culture, life experience and linguistic features, they differ in the selection of source domain and ways of word-formation etc. In addition, words of Netspeak and those used in daily life influence each other. Many netlingoes come from words used in daily life, while some netlingoes are used metaphorically in the newspapers, magazines, books and daily conversation etc. The author thinks that we needn’t worry too much about this phenomenon. It is an inevitable process in the development of the language.

         With the development of computer-mediated communication, more and more people will use Netspeak. It is the metaphor that makes Netspeak much easier to be understood and accepted. A great numbers of metaphors existing in Netspeak can help to avoid the misunderstanding in the computer-mediated communication so as to smooth the communication. For the sake of the fast change of Netspeak, the characteristics and functions of metaphors in Netspeak will change with it. Thus the thesis can only try to give an objective analysis of the present phenomenon of metaphors in Netspeak. What’s more, due to the limitation of the author’s experiences, the study on the phenomenon that many metaphorical words used online have entered our daily conversations is preliminary in nature. This phenomenon is worth being further studied.  

 

Key Words: Netspeak; comparative study; metaphor  (To the top)

 

Pragmatic Strategies in News Headlines: Beijing Daily’s Olympic News as a Case Study

Student: Xiaoya Qian   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu    Date: 2007

 

        Pragmatic strategy is both a language art and a strategic language, which is prevalent in the course of verbal communication. Correct and appropriate uses of such strategies can yield positive pragmatic effect and lead to successful communication.

        Olympic news coverage and information presentation make wide use of pragmatic strategies with a view to achieve the desired results. Based on the speech act theory and the theory of context, this thesis specifically studies pragmatic straties in news headlines. The layout of the thesis is as follows:

        Part I: A Literature Review. It reviews the related literature on news language, and highlights on the theoretical framework of this study: the speech act theory and the theory of context.

Part II explores some main strategies in Olympic-related news headlines, including pragmatic presupposition, pragmatic syntax, the performing of speech acts, pragmatic styles, and pragmatic features.

        Part III : Two main categories of strategies in Olympic-related news are elaborated in this part: direct pragmatic strategies and indirect pragmatic strategies. Direct pragmatic strategies have the following manifestations: 1) Topic-commanding pragmatic strategies; 2) The short-and-long-term pragmatic strategies; 3) content strategies. Indirect pragmatic strategies include: 1) Discourse role-rotating strategies such as  Discourse performer as microphone, discourse performer-creator dual roleship, and relaying role of between discourse performer, creator, and bearer; 2) Discourse power implementation strategy.  

    Part IV analyzes the impacts of four pragmatic factors on the effects of Olympic news: The news genre, political and cultural context, and semantic cognition, and context allocation. Among them, news genre and cultural context are  main factors affecting the outcomes of Olympic news.

        Part V retrospects on the study and summarizes the main  findings concerning the pragmatic strategies in the Olympic news headlines. It also briefly discusses the theoretical and practical significances, and points out some inadequacies of the study.

 

Keywords : Pragmatic strategies; ,Speech act; Pragmatic factors; Pragmatic style (To the top)

 

Direct Request in Chinese

Student: Wenbo Wang     Supervisor:  Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

        The speech act of request has been richly documented. Most studies focus on native languages or second languages, using a DCT (Discourse Completion Test) questionnaire or role-play to obtain data. Studies report that according to the level of directness, request is of three categories: direct request, conventionally indirect request and unconventional request, with the latter two commonly referred to as indirect request and heavily examined in Chinese (Zhang & Wang, 1997), leaving direct request seldom explored.

        The purpose of this thesis is a further study on Zhang and Wang (1997). Different from previous studies, including Zhang and Wang (1997), which use a DCT or role-plays to elicit data, this thesis collects data from a specific dialog setting, the clinic, observes and tape-records naturally ongoing conversations between doctors and patients.

  Elaborate analyses of the collected data indicate that in the special setting of doctor-patient dialogs, doctors tend to employ more direct request strategies; this may be caused by both the higher power position on the part of the doctor and the economic principle of speech. In overall, in performing their direct request upon patients, doctors basically observe three characteristics: (1) They adopt three common subcategories of direct request which follow a sequence of mood derivable, locution derivable and hedged performative; (2) The usual frequencies of request perspective are implicit, hearer dominance and speaker dominance; (3) Internal modification and external modification are usually used to mitigate the imposition of direct request, which evidence that the direct request of doctor-patient is not impolite.

  A continuation as well as a remedy of Zhang and Wang’s (1997) study, this thesis helps to strongly showcase the fact that indirect strategies are not observed on all occasions, especially in specific Chinese speech contexts; on the contrary, under special circumstances, direct request strategies are more appropriate and desirable. Evidentially, these findings are indispensable supplements to the pragmatic competence of, especially those Chinese second language learners.

        To verify the findings and conclusions in the present study, it is helpful to launch more studies by extending direct request data in other specific settings such as traffic police-driver, and teacher-student and so on dialogs. 

Key Words: Chinese direct request; speech act; internal modification; external modification

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A Study of the “Congratulating-Wishing” Speech Act in Modern Chinese

Student: Guizhi Xu   Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

        This is an explicit study of the speech act of “congratulating-wishing” in Modern Chinese. This paper conceptualizes “congratulating-wishing” as “wishes for the future” and “congratulations on the achievements”. It contends that the speech act of congratulating-wishing in Modern Chinese has three aspects: structural models of a congratulating-wishing discourse and person deixis, the tactics of congratulating-wishing and factors restricting congratulating-wishing.

        Structural models of a congratulating-wishing discourse and person deixis mainly   research into three essential factors of the speech act of congratulating-wishing; the congratulating-wishing appellation; the auxiliary statement of congratulating-wishing causes, and the contumelious special congratulating-wishing. Meanwhile, it probes into variants of the speech act of congratulating-wishing and the difference of person deixis.

        Tactics of congratulating-wishing mainly analyzes such contents: in a congratulating-wishing activity, in order to reach optimization of the congratulating-wishing information, we need choose the best congratulating-wishing speech according to such factors as target of congratulating-wishing, environment, purpose, which consist of announcement type, farewell type, the care encouragement type, praises type, apology type, and so on.

        Restriction factors of congratulating-wishing mainly study factors which influence the congratulating-wishing activity. Gender, culture, and time, place, environment, potential listener, and target are some of such factors, which interact and restrict every concrete congratulating-wishing act.

        Congratulating-wishing as a kind of etiquette language always finds large numbers of users. Hence this study is significant in helping users understand the underlying rules and principles of the congratulating-wishing speech act in particular and enrich our knowledge about speech acts in general.

 

Key words: the congratulating-wishing speech act; structural models of a congratulating-wishing discourse; tactics; factors restricting congratulating-wishing (To the top)

 

The Speech Act Realization of Thanking in

A Dream of Red Mansions

Student: Yanqiong Zhou    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

        In this thesis, we make a study on the realization of the Chinese speech act of thanking in A Dream of Red Mansions.

  The thesis begins by defining thanking as: a person’s sincere expressions of gratitude for a past or future favor through language. Based on this definition, we collect altogether 173 expressions from A Dream of Red Mansions. Focusing on these expressions, we make a study on: the direct speech act’s structural characteristics, its manifestations and situational characteristics, strategies, pragmatic functions, the influence of social parameters on language strategies as well as cultural characteristics and gender characteristics of thanking speech act in A Dream of Red Mansions.

 Through the study we find: 1) that in direct thanking, the ‘head acts’ words mainly include感激(gan ji), 多谢(duo xie),谢(xie, 感谢(gan xie), 磕头(ke tou), 感戴(gan dai), 拜谢 (bai xie); 2) that there are 7 kinds of manifestations: exclamatory sentence, declarative sentence, rhetorical question sentence, negative sentence, interrogative sentence, hypothetical sentence, imperative sentence; 3) that there are 5 situations where we should express gratitude: when getting help, when getting support, when feeling goodwill, when refusing other’s good will, when obtaining consideration or understanding; 4) that we employ 10 strategies in thanking: repaying, showing apology, showing care, praising the hearer, promising, accusing, showing intimate relation, expressing luckiness, compliment, consoling; and 5) that there are 7 pragmatic functions in our thanking act: expressing gratitude, showing etiquette, strengthening the favorable impression on speaker, adjusting the distance between the speaker and hearer, satisfying the interlocutor’s psychology request, a way of euphemistic refusal, a way of request. In addition, we find the presence of some social parameters: power, social distance and ranking of imposition et cetera greatly influence thanking strategies; for example people in high rankings seldom or never express their gratitude directly, and only people in low status or the imposition being strong will people kowtow their thanks. Even if two persons are not in equal status if the social distance between them is close, the strategies being employed will change. We also find in A Dream of Red Mansions, the realization of thanking speech act has its own cultural and gender characteristics; for example some unique thanking speech acts which manifest feudal social phenomenon are disappearing: one is “Amida Buddha!”(阿弥陀佛) which is connected with superstition, the other is “kowtow” (磕头) which indicates unequal social status. Then some other thanking speech acts which demonstrates unequal status such as “shang()” and the bequeath of a person are also disappearing. And through our study we find gender characteristics in thanking: women are subordinate to men and they use certain patterns associated with surprise and politeness more often than men, and employ more exclamations and exaggerations to express their gratitude. 

The study on the one hand enriches our knowledge about the speech act of thanking from the Chinese language and cultural angles, and on the other hand provides us more guidance in the using of it in our daily life.

        Of course, this study contains some shortcomings; for instance we do not look into the structural characteristics of indirect thanking, and when judging the social status, our standard still lacks accurateness. In the future we may extend the study to cover more works written in the middle and late Qing Dynasty, and compare the differences in the realization of thanking in the Qing Dynasty and modern society.

 

Key words: thanking; A Dream of Red Mansions; social parameters; strategy (To the top)

 

The Speech Act of “Thanking” in Chinese

Student: Liyuan Wang    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

        Thanking is an important social interacting act. Just as apologizing, commanding, congratulating and promising, it has close relation with people’s daily life. Meanwhile thanking is a highly frequent speech act in our daily lives. Hence examining into how people express thanking properly is of great significance for understanding human communication. Unfortunately previous research document few studies on the speech act of thanking. As an attempt, this study looks into the linguistic structures and functions of thanking.

        This thesis adopts an utterance-analysis approach. The utterances are of both spoken and written nature, and of three origins: First, various Chinese contemporary literary works, because using works from different regions, ages, and genders may keep the materials typical and comprehensive, and this, in return, may help us fully perceive the linguistic structures of the speech act of thanking in Chinese. Second, typical communicating contexts such as receiving gifts or being praised. Such utterances may help us understand the uses of various thanking strategies. Third, media, newspapers, and the Internet. Such utterances help us focus on the newest and quickest data.

        The study reports the following findings: 1) Thanking involves a complex process. There are two kind of thanking formation---favor-leading thanking and non-favor-leading thanking. 2) Thanking contains three levels of linguistic structures: sentential, lexical, and conversational. 3) Thanking entails two major strategies---direct thanking and indirect thanking. The Chinese culture is of inner-continent feature and prefers indirect thanking instead of direct thanking. 4) There are four basic functions in the act of thanking: thanking, refusing, satirizing, and attention-catching. 5) The thanking act is also constrained by several factors. Some of the comparatively steady factors include gender, nationality, and concrete contexts such as time, place, etc. These various factors operate together to restrict every concrete thanking activity, during which time subjective factors persist throughout the whole process of the thanking activity, while culture, the objective factor, helps us properly understand and express thanking.

        Theoretically, the present study enriches our knowledge about the speech act of thanking, and practically, helps us, especially Chinese as a foreign language learners properly express thanking in Chinese, establish a good interpersonal relationship, and a harmonious social atmosphere.

 

Key words: thanking; the Speech Act Theory; linguistic structure  (To the top)

 

Gender Differences in Performing Invitation in Chinese

Student: Zifang Zhu    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

Invitation is a common communication phenomenon in our daily lives. As a positive and polite social behavior, it is influenced by many variables such as communicator’s age, gender, levels of education, social status and social relationship. The realization of invitation has been a focal topic among scholars in various fields, especially pragmatics. However, most previous studies concentrated on either the realization of speech act of invitation and factors which affected its realization; scant attention, if any, was given to gender differences in invitation. Consequently, it is necessary to explicitly look into how gender affect our making of invitationin Chinese.

Using a discourse completion test (DCT) questionnaire, the present study surveys how people perform the speech act of invitation in Chinese, and conducts elaborate analyses, qualitative and quantitative, into the collected data, on aspects such as the linguistic forms of invitation, the relationship between social variables and the choice of the invitation strategies, and response to invitation.

Eventually, the study finds out that:

1) When addressing an invitation, males tend to use imperative strategy more frequently than females do, while females tend to use inquiry strategy more frequently males do. When using imperative strategy, the frequency of exclamation in females is obviously higher than that of males.

2) Females tend to use auxiliary speech act more frequently than males, and their usage is more diverse.

3) When addressing an invitation, females prefer to make a greeting while males always don’t. But males employ more types of resources than females do in the general. Females’ greeting appears more inhibited than males’.

4) The invitational discourse sequences of females are evidently longer than that of males, while the quantity of discourse of females performs alike.

5) The frequency of polite idioms using in females is higher than that of males, especially in formal invitations. Females are better at applying expressive words than males, and their invitational discourses are imbued with strong emotions.

6) The choices of invitation strategies of males and females are both influenced by interpersonal distance, social power and the gender of invitee. There is slight difference in the sensibility of both genders to the social variables.

7) In a common situation, there is nearly no difference between males’ choices of the response strategies and those of the females’. Both genders easily accept invitations from the same gender while displaying care in taking invitations from the opposite gender

8) Generally speaking, females’ expressions of invitation are more euphemistic and polite than those of males’.

These findings show that the realization of speech act of invitation of both male and female takes on a salient characteristic: consistent generally but different internally. This may give an implication to the pragmatic researchers: they should pay attention to the universals as well as concentrating on the individual differences.

 

Key words: the speech act of invitation, linguistic forms, pragmatic strategies, social variables, gender differences (To the top)

 

Statement in Advertisement and Declarative Indirect Persuasion

Student: Yinwen Huang    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

This thesis is a pragmatic analysis of statements of products, with a view to exploring the pragmatic mechanisms behind the statements of products in advertisements.

It contains four chapters. The first chapter is a brief introduction about the present study. Chapter two reviews previous studies of indirect speech act, persuasion and statement. Chapter three is the main part of this thesis. It analyzes the characteristics of statement in advertisement and discusses some useful pragmatic strategies. The last chapter is a conclusion of this thesis.

Methodologically speaking, the study is a qualitative one based on collected advertisements. “State” in Chinese means “declare in a systematic way”. But as a kind of illocutionary act, its purpose is to commit the speaker (in varying degrees) to something’s being the case; the direction of fit is words to the world; the psychological state expressed is belief. And according to Searle’s definition of the indirect speech act, the present study defines “statement in advertisement” as declarative indirect persuasion, which performs persuasion indirectly by way of performing a statement. Then the thesis infers from the process that receivers get the information from declarative indirect persuasion. Furthermore, on the basis of the definition, the thesis probes into the relationship between statement and persuasion in advertisements from general usages and discourse structure.

The thesis classifies statements into two broad categories: direct statement and indirect statement. It then enumerates the types of advertisements for each one and highlights that a statement in advertisement also has its core part, which makes use of some specific information about the products/goods.

The thesis finds that discourse and social roles play important parts in advertisement as well. Social roles in advertisements differ from the social institution and culture; while discourse roles are associated with the information and its sender, or receiver. On the one hand, appropriate roles would be chosen for the products, even some changes between each other, such as a role change from spokesperson/ mouthpiece to speaker and another change from the reverse direction. On the other hand, different receivers take an effect on the statement for products too.

The thesis also examines the different parts of advertisement, focusing on the major function of presupposition in advertisement, and some other factors such as vocabulary, grammar rhetoric and culture.

In sum, the thesis provides guidance for performing effective persuasion by the way of performing statement.

 

Key Words: statement in advertisement; declarative indirect persuasion; discourse role vs social role; presupposition  (To the top)

 

A Study on the Speech Act of Comforting in Chinese

Student: Yinwen Huang    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

        This thesis attempts to conduct a descriptive study on the realization of comforting in the Chinese context from a pragmatic perspective, based on the speech act theories and politeness theories. A systematic investigation is carried out in terms of strategies in the realization of the speech act of comforting, the effect of relative power and gender and the utterance patterns on the realization in the Chinese context.

        This study adopts both a qualitative approach and a quantitative approach. A Discourse Completion Test (DCT)  is designed to collect data from altogether 182 sophomores and seniors in Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, 172 of whom produce valid responses for analysis. The strategies, the effect of relative power and gender on the choice of the strategies and utterance patterns in the realization of comforting are carefully analyzed. Besides, the rules for performing the speech act of comforting are examined in the study.

        Chapter 1 is a general introduction, which gives a brief account of the need for the study, the aim of the research and issues to be discussed in this paper. Chapter 2 is an overview of the studies on speech act theories and related politeness theories, providing a theoretical background of the present study and the specific speech act of comforting. Chapter 3 is a brief introduction to the research methodology including subject, instrument, procedure, and so on. In Chapter 4, the collected data are analyzed in detail and the distribution of comforting strategies and the influences the social factors like relative power and gender have on the choice of the strategies are explored. This chapter also gives us a description of comforting in aspects of its taxonomy belonging to and rules for performing the speech act. Chapter 5 is the conclusion of this research, talking about findings, limitation and at the same time offering some suggestions for future studies in the speech act of comforting.

 

Key words: speech act; comforting; strategies; relative power; gender; realization patterns  (To the top)

 

The Necessity of Introducing Speech Act Theory into College English Writing Teaching:

A Corpus-based Analysis

Student: Handong Li    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

        English writing as a valuable productive and communicative skill has been a focus of language teaching and research. However, for most college students, among listening, speaking, reading, and writing, writing remains the most difficult of the four basic language skills.

The  Speech Act Theory (SAT) as a foundational pragmatic theory has been embraced by researchers. However, of all its applications, few pertain to helping people effectively use language, not to say helping the Chinese college students to improve their English writing.

        Guided by the SAT, this thesis takes CLEC (Chinese Learner English Corpus) as a data source, probes into the compositions in it, identifies typical writing problems on the levels of lexicon, syntax, and context, and points out possible communication breakdowns, if not given due attention, in such a written discourse.

        Then the thesis discusses how the SAT, as a theory about effective conveyance of the speaker meaning and proper understanding on the part of the hearer, can render implications for writing. 

        Subsequently, the thesis addresses the necessity in using the SAT to guide college English writing, and proposes to writing teachers remedial strategies such as conceptualizing the nature of language, considering writing in terms of communication, taking writing as performing a speech act,  locating an audience, cultivating cultural awareness, and beginning from everyday class teaching.

By applying the SAT into college English writing, the thesis helps to broaden the practical uses of the theory and enlighten college English writing practice. Of course, the implicational model  may be subject to future experimental study.

 

Key words:  Speech Act Theory; writing; communication  (To the top)

 

A Contrastive Study of the Speech Act of Persuasion in Chinese and American English

Student: Xia Tang    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2007

 

Since Austin and Seale establish their Speech Act Theory, researchers have investigated such speech acts as requests, apologies, compliments, refusals, and so on in detail, except the speech act of persuasion. Plus, most studies are conducted from such perspectives as psychology, sociology, mass-mediumand so on, few adopting the linguistic perspective, not to say pragmatics. Systematical research on Chinese persuasion are even fewer, not to say a contrastive study between Chinese and English.

This thesis studies persuasion in China and America from the perspectives of pragmatics and cross-cultural comparison. 

In all, 50 Chinese and 50 Americans participate in the study. The data are collected using a dialog-completion test (DCT). The questionnaire includes five situations. From the collected data, I identify four types of persuasion, and focus on analyzing face-to-face persuasion. I also detect eight strategies in face-to-face persuasion, and examine them in the five situations.

The study evidences that there exist similarities and differences in persuasion strategies in China and America; that across the five situations, neither group is prone to silence and non-face-to-face persuasion, though the two groups sharply differ in the strategies of opting out, face-to-face persuasion and others; that the most frequently used strategy by Chinese is face-to-face persuasion, while Americans are prone to use faced persuasion in some situation, and others and opting out in other situations; that in face-to-face persuasion, both groups are prone to adopt rewarding activity, while punishing activity, expertise and the applying of excuse are seldom used. As a whole, the most frequently used face-to-face persuasion strategy by the Chinese is rewarding activity, while Americans request; and the Chinese use much more strategies than Americans. In addition, the study also finds out that both groups differ in the choice of situations, namely one situation typical to the Chinese may not exist or be seldom used by the Americans.

All the above findings may help enrich our knowledge about the speech act of persuasion, and is of great implications to cross-cultural communication, and English teaching and leaning.

 

Key Words: persuasion; speech act; pragmatic; culture; strategy (To the top)

 

A Study on the Speech Act of Bargaining in Chinese

Student: Yuge Song    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2006

 

This paper attempts to conduct a descriptive study on the realization of the speech act of bargaining in Chinese context from a pragmatic perspective. Statistics based on a systematic investigation are applied to analyze the realization process  and the effect of social variables in its  realization. Data are  collected through  observation, interviews and researcher participation. Altogether 200 cases of bargaining in Chinese have been collected during the past three months. From a pragmatic perspective, the researcher explored the realization of bargaining in Chinese context first, and then analyzed the social variables that influence the choices of bargaining strategies. The final results of the thesis are then ensued: Bargaining in Chinese owes a sequential pattern; usually the Chinese adopt two types of strategies in the process of bargaining, namely, direct and indirect; the social variables (gender, age, social distance and relative power are included) influence the bargaining strategies greatly.

 Under the Speech Act Theory’s guidance, the paper first explored the theoretical background—Grice’s Cooperative Principle, Brown &Levinson’s politeness theory and face, Leech’s Politeness Principle and Gu Yueguo’s Politeness Principle, and then analyzed the Chinese speech act—bargaining systematically. The results are as follows: though the speech act bargaining in Chinese sometimes violates one or some maxims of the CP, it still observes the CP; though the interlocutors in the bargaining are trying to save or redress the face of the partner’s, face-damage takes place often; and sometimes violating the maxims of the CP is just to give “face” to the partner, which can make the bargaining go on smoothly.

  The thesis hopes to evoke attention to exploring speech acts in Chinese context, and especially to exploring and promoting pragmatic principles in Chinese context. Furthermore, the researcher also points out some difficulties encountered in the process of studies and limitations of the research.

 

Key words: speech act of bargaining;   cooperative principle;   politeness theory     and face;   social variables

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The Language of the NBA: A Linguistic Analysis of Impromptu NBA Commentaries

Student: Pingxiang He    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2006

             

Impromptu NBA commentaries, different from other language style such as advertising, news and speech and so on, is as wonderful, vivid and colorful as NBA game itself, and shows its different style for the unique situation and the event itself. However, a systemic and comprehensive analysis of the language of NBA commentaries has not been well attempted.

The present study made a linguistic analysis on impromptu NBA commentaries, aiming to find some special language rules in the special genre of language use from the angle of linguistics, which helps broaden research field of language and helps understand and appreciate the language of the NBA. 

The study adopted the method of statistics to analyze typical and striking language features of impromptu NBA commentaries and quantified the analysis by presenting some statistical information. Essentially this thesis followed three intermingling steps: description (mainly linguistic) — interpretation—evaluation.

        Based on the register theory, the author found that impromptu NBA commentaries contain unique linguistic features at various levels, phonological, lexical, syntactic, semantic and textual, all of which helped to evidence that the NBA commentary language should be treated as a different style.

        The findings are as follows: 1) impromptu NBA commentaries have distinguished prosodic features like stress, tempo, pause, length and loudness which make a greater contribution to the meaning expressing; 2) at the lexical level, impromptu NBA commentaries have such striking features as simple structuring words, low lexical density, frequent use of proper nouns and verbs, many occurrences of technical terms and sports jargons, frequent use of phrase repetition, and there are no fillers; 3) at the syntactic level, the average sentence length in NBA commentaries is far less than that of daily conversation; commentators like using minors and exclamatory sentences and loose grammatical linkage of sentences but occasionally utter some incomplete sentences and questions and ungrammatical sentences, and there is the possibility of occasional stammer; 4) at the semantic level, first, NBA commentaries are precise and the language is simple and plain, second, although the language of NBA is descriptive, commentators still employ rhetorical devices to add expressing effects; 5) in terms of organization patterns, the textual structure is very loose,  broken and disturbed, but it has sequential structuring and entertaining color.

        Two issues could be set for follow-up future studies. First, a comparative analysis of English and Chinese impromptu NBA commentaries is interesting because commentators have different cultural background, way of thought, and attitude towards the same thing. Second, a perspective from systematic-functional grammar will also be interesting as impromptu NBA commentaries have loose structuring and their information is distributed disorderly. An analysis on the theme, rheme and patterns of thematic progression will help to reveal what text structure, coherence and cohesion are like in this register.

 

Key words: impromptu NBA commentaries; linguistic features; stylistics; register  (To the top)    

 

Studies on Fictional Dialogue from the Perspective of Gricean Conversational Implicature Theory:

A case study of Jane Eyre

Student: Yuping Zhou    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2006

 

        This thesis is a detailed analysis of the conversational implicature in Jane Eyre from the perspective of Gricean Conversational Implicature Theory. Although Jane Eyre has been studied fully since its publishing, few studies explored it from the perspective of pragmatics and hence this thesis.

        First, the criticisms and reviews on Jane Eyre are surveyed with the emphasis on the existent subject matters and approaches since 19th century. The discussion of the conversational implicature from the pragmatic approach is thus introduced, and its feasibilities and necessities are explored sufficiently. Then, Grice’s CP and the conversational maxims are carefully reviewed, which serve as the theoretical framework to facilitate the conversational analysis in Jane Eyre.

        The author discovered that Characters in Jane Eyre always violate the regularities to generate more than what is said, that is, they employ indirect expressions to produce conversational implicature by flouting the CP and the conversational maxims.  Speakers’conversational implicature is confirmed in particular situation; while, for some factors, conversational implicature often can’t be understood well, such as lack of the common context, background knowledge, beliefs or interests, etc. Gricean Conversational Implicature Theory is right to interpret the generation and understanding of these specific examples’ implicature .

By exploring the conversational implicature from the approach of pragmatics in Jane Eyre, this thesis in one way manifests Charlotte’s realism and Jane Eyre’s constant attractiveness, which reaffirms and enriches the conventional Charlotte criticism, claries the validity of taking pragmatic theory into literature criticism, and provides writers and readers with inspiration during the process of novel creation or appreciation..

 

Key words: conversational implicature; cooperative principle; conversational maxims; Jane Eyre (To the top)

 

Fuzziness of Language in Stock and Bond Analysis

Student: Wensheng Tang    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2006

 

        This thesis focuses on the study of fuzziness of language in stock and bond analysis. The reason why I carry out  this study is that, up till now, most studies on fuzzy language have been oriented to theoretical researches. Most linguistic scholars in China delved into this discipline from semantic angle and few of them were from pragmatic angle which were limited to the pragmatic analysis of hedges. The application and interpretation of fuzzy language in actual communication have been scarcely dealt with.

In this thesis, I have collected a large number of actual examples on analysis of stock and bond by stock analysts and studied the fuzzy nature of language in it through analyzing the use of fuzzy language in these actual examples.

        After the study of these actual examples, I have found that the fuzzy nature of language can find its full application in stock and bond analysis. In the field of finance and bond, there are many words or terms whose boundaries are interfaced and are too fuzzy to be exactly clarified. Meanwhile, as the stock market is complicated and changeable, and sometimes because of certain subjective reasons of some stock analysts, there are a lot of fuzzy words in the language of stock analysis. Therefore, analyzing the fuzziness of the words from pragmatic angel can deepen our understanding of the characteristics of the fuzziness of stock analysis and thus treat it correctly.

 

Key words: fuzzy language; pragmatic function, stock analysis  (To the top)

 

A Cross-Cultural Study On the Realization of the Speech Act of Introduction

Student: Yan Sun    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2006

                              

        This is a Chinese-English contrastive study on the realization of the speech act of “introduction”.

My first reason to launch this study was due to the fact that since John Austin’s establishment of his Speech Act Theory in 1955, researchers have investigated speech acts such as advice/refusal of advice, apologies, complaints, compliments/responses, correction of factual error, disagreement, giving directions, giving embarrassing information, giving gifts, greetings, letters of application, miscommunication, negative responses to questions, negation, opting out, refusals, reprimanding/responding, requests, suggesting, thanks, and so on, except, however, that the speech act of “introduction”.

        My other reason lied in the fact that as an indispensable component in social interaction, “introduction” stands out as an important speech act itself, and that an appropriate introduction will leave a good impression on the hearer and pave the way for further communication. Nevertheless, the diversity of introduction is always ignored because it is often conveyed with simple sentences like “this is…” or “I am…”.

        The data for analysis were collected using role-play situations, interviews, internet-surfing and real life observation.  Five situations of role-plays were used as the main source to solicit responses from native Mandarin speakers, native American English speakers, and Chinese students of English, while Internet-surfing and observations as supplementary data.

Based on the analyses of the available data, it was found that:

 

1. An introduction contains three parts : greeting/attention-getter + address form + head act.

 Native Mandarin speakers used nine categories of address forms in introduction. Both native American English speakers and Chinese students of English used six categories of address forms. Head act was analyzed from introduction perspective and the strategies applied in the speech act. The three groups of people used hearer dominance, speaker dominance, speaker-hearer dominance and implicit perspective in introduction. Viewed from the perspective of introduction strategies, native Mandarin speakers used six introduction strategies, namely, wisdom of name, hearer sympathy, linear strategy, tagged strategy, showing respect and humbleness. Except for the strategy of humbleness, the other five strategies were used by native American English speakers and Chinese students of English.

 

2. An introduction conforms with the Cooperative and Politeness Principles.

The three groups of people conformed to the cooperative principle in their choice of introduction strategies. However, it is possible that one man’s conformation is another man’s violation. Take the strategy of wisdom in name, which was more popular among Mandarin speakers, as an example. If a Chinese explains his Chinese name to the Americans the same way he/she explains it to the Chinese, it will confuse the foreigner. The intended pragmatic force of leaving a deep impression on the hearers by explaining the origin of his/her name will not be attained.

        In the speech act under discussion, Chinese and Americans had different ways of showing politeness, especially in their way of showing respect. The former preferred to show respect by way of raising others higher or humbling oneself while the latter preferred being treated equally without being higher or lower than others. A negligence of this phenomenon often leads to misunderstanding or make the foreigners uncomfortable.

 

3. An introduction may be present with pragmatic failure and pragmatic transfer.

The data analysis also showed that Chinese people can make introductions appropriately in most cases. Yet, inappropriate application of address forms or introduction strategies can lead to pragmatic failure, which is caused by failure to master the correct use of address forms in proper situations and negative transfer of the pragmatic rules from the native tongue.

        Some advice is given to English language learning and teaching based on the discussion on the above-mentioned questions, which is also applicable for learners of Chinese. Suggestions were given to help arouse language learners’ pragmatic awareness and competence, through which better cross-cultural communication can be attained. The research can also provide data for study in interlanguage, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics.

 

Key wordsintroduction,  speech act,  pragmatic,  strategy (To the top)

 

Defining Words in Bilingual Dictionaries: A Pragmatic Perspective

Student: Zhaojuan Xu    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2006

 

Bilingual dictionary is the bridge of communication between two different languages, as well as an important tool for intercultural communication. As the study of the theory of bilingual dictionary compilation goes further, more and more scholars show their concerns to the application of pragmatics in the process of compiling bilingual dictionary.

As an important part of word explanation, word definition is the study subject not only of lexico-semantics, but also of pragmatics. Traditionally, there are two usual means to explain the meaning of words, that is, explanatory definition and synonymous replacement. At present, these two kinds of definitions are still adopted in most of dictionaries. Taking the simplicity of human language and the restriction of dictionary space into consideration, the above two means are the most economical and achieve the effect of profit maximum. However, there exists an obvious defect in them, that is, circularity.

First of all, this dissertation states the definition of bilingual dictionary and makes a survey of the development of it in China. Then, it introduces the means of definition and the usual means of word definition in details, that is, semantic means. In addition, it points out the defects, which can be made up by the application of pragmatic means.

Next, this dissertation interprets “the meaning” in the sense of pragmatics and reveals its communication between different cultures, and usually the cross-cultural communication encounters barriers, which has been the new research field in pragmatics and applied linguistics. The compilation of bilingual dictionary is the exchange of information and knowledge between different cultures and is the written communicative activity between compiler and user in reality. Unless the two parties participate in the compilation, bilingual dictionary cannot offer correlative information about the difficulties and key points in foreign language learning and perform the function as the bridge of foreign language learning. Whether this question can be solved properly depends on how to apply the theory of pragmatics to the compilation of bilingual dictionary.

Taking the definitions of Longman and Oxford at random as the study literature, this dissertations analyzes in detail the model of word definition in bilingual dictionary and concludes the means and rules of word definition in current bilingual dictionary.

At last, this dissertation discusses the pragmatic criticism of word definition in current bilingual dictionary. With a view to solving the problem after finding and arising it, this dissertation explores the application of pragmatics to word definition in bilingual dictionary and attempts to improve the word definition in bilingual dictionary, as a result of which bilingual dictionary can perform instrumental function in particular discipline better.

This dissertation puts the focus on word definition in bilingual dictionary. Its significance lies in expounding the basic methods, problems and means if improvement of word definition in bilingual dictionary from the pragmatic perspective. Improved by the theory of pragmatics, bilingual dictionary can better play its role of instrument.

 

Key word: bilingual dictionary; pragmatics; word definition; meaning (To the top)

 

A Politeness Approach to Euphemism in Doctor-Patient Dialog

Student: Xueqing Liang    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2006

 

        As a universal phenomenon, politeness prevails in all cultures and languages. It restricts our words and deeds and regulates our communication activities. Euphemism, an essential embodiment of politeness in people’s everyday communication, is a golden means of language. As such, it helps to express our thought indirectly. For that reason, recent years witnessed an increasing literature on euphemism studies. However, only relatively fewer attempts were made in exploring the role of euphemism used in hospital settings, where misunderstanding occurs from time to time between doctors and patients, and in case their conflicts become so obvious and intense that some hospitals not only dissatisfy the families of the patients but are also charged to be dishonest and be responsible for certain social problems, due to their overuse of euphemisms. The purpose of this study is to explore into the nature of euphemism in doctor-patient interactions. It specifically addresses three issues:

  1. When treating serious patients, should the doctor tell the patients the truth or conceal it?

2. If the use of euphemism implies politeness, how do doctors use euphemism in the doctor-patient dialog to attain the goal of politeness?

3. Do doctors speak in the same way, euphemistically to ask different patients?

The Hospital of Guilin Medical College was the site from which my data was collected for analysis, and politeness theories were used to explain the use of euphemism and results of data analysis.

The thesis consists of six chapters altogether. The first chapter is a brief introduction to the study. The second chapter is a review of the study of doctor-patient dialog. It includes the relatively study, the main contents and achievements of study and the existing questions. Finally, it points out several questions of the study in the thesis. The third chapter is a review of the framework theories. It especially discusses the concept of euphemism, the functions of politeness and the polite principle and the implications of these principles applying to these doctor-patient dialogs. The fourth chapter discusses the aim, subjects and procedures of data collection. And in the fifth chapter, the author presented the results of data analysis and expounded the results in terms of the polite principles. The last chapter is a summary of the research findings, discussion of the significance and limitation of the study, including suggestions for further studies.

 

Key Words: Euphemism   the Polite Principle   Doctor-patient Dialog  (To the top)

 

Classification of Interlocutors and Its Effects on Communication

Student: Kaiwen Wang    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2006

 

This paper addresses the relationship between the classification of interlocutors and its communication effects. The importance of the research of classification of interlocutors, in oral communication, lies in that the orientation of communicators is the crucial part of context, and the key factor of successful communication. To execute the study, the author of this paper turns to disciplines such as pragmatics, social psychology and communication. Based on some relative theories of these disciplines, the paper uses the research methods of humanistic thought and qualitative analysis to study many examples of oral one-to-one talks, and results in classification of interlocutors----role of parents, of adult and of child, according to the standard of comparative power of communicators.

The roles of communicators result from overall evaluations of the other communicator and speaker him/her self which made by the both sides. So, the role, indeed, is selected by the speaker him/her self, and is subjective and dynamic. Because linguistic features are display of these roles, analysis and orientation of speaker’ role is determined by these features, formal and of content.

Each talk at least has two roles and different matches of roles have different communicational effects, harmony or conflict. In a word, mutual adaptive roles will have a harmonious dialogue, and mutual not adaptive roles will have conflicts, even breakup in communications.

This thesis falls in five parts. Part 1 introduces some theories on which my theory of the paper is founded. Part 2 describes three kinds of interlocutor’s roles and their linguistic features. Part 3 generates the reasons which underlying these roles. Part 4 will research different matches of roles and its effects on communications. Part 5 is the conclusion drawn from above analysis and interpretations.

In a word, by studding communicators’ characters, the paper has found the relations of discourse and its speaker, which plays a crucial role in oral communications. And the paper would deepen its readers’ awareness of discourse identities that is a foundation of successful talks.

        The goal of the thesis is to find the relationship between the speakers and their speech, and that between the speaker and communication effect through the study on the features of the speakers in the verbal communication. Then it can deepen people’s knowledge about the rules of verbal communication and promote the harmonious social relationships among people.  

 

Key words: roles of interlocutor; linguistic features; causes lead to roles; communicational effects (To the top)

 

Creativity in Advertising: The Relevance Theory Approach

Student: Yunhui Wei    Supervisor: Shaozhong Liu  Date: 2006

 

Based on Sperber and Wilson’s Relevance Theory, this thesis investigates advertising creativity, focusing on how advertisers employ different language according to the target audience, which thus ensures effective advertising creativity.

Whether commercial or non-commercial, advertisements abound in our life. When we are reading advertisements, question such as why the same ad may be differently manifest to different people will arise. For example, this ad “天高几许?问真龙。” is understandably manifest to cigarette smokers, while not to others, which may be related to the cognitive environments of different people. Cognitive environment is the central notion of D. Sperber and D. Wilson’s Relevance Theory (RT), which views communication as an ostensive-inferential one. Ostension and inference are two sides of the same coin. They refer respectively to the addresser’s production and the addressee’s interpretation of the same utterance. This process aims at achieving contextual effects which result in the addresser’s communicative intention resorting to ostension, combining the contextual assumptions (He Ziran & Ran Yongping 2001). The RT argues that the cognitive environment of the addressee plays a vital role in understanding utterance in communication, and it consists of three kinds of information, namely, logical, encyclopaedic and lexical information. Different cognitive environments may lead to different perceptions. Advertising is a kind of communication (Dyer 1982; T. Vestergaard & K. Schroder 1985, etc), which is audience-targeted. The nature of advertising shows that its purpose is to make the audiences notice its intention or information. That is to say, advertising is apparently an ostensive communication whose interlocutors are respectively the advertisers and the audiences. As is known, the purpose of advertising is to inform and persuade the audiences to buy products or to take certain actions intended by the advertisers. To fulfill their goals, advertisers use the manifest languages, easily understood by the target audience according to their cognitive environment. In this way advertisers can produce better ads that effectively accomplish their purpose. In other words, advertising anchored in the cognitive environments of the target audiences is more attractive and creative.

        With the help of the RT, this study analyzes more than 20 ads collected from books on advertising, newspapers, magazines and the street corners, consisting of commercial advertisements addressing people of different genders and ages, as well as non-commercial ones which address a far wider audience, and examines how the language in these advertisements is evidently manifest to the target audiences. For example, in cosmetics advertisements addressing women, similar words and phrases to “美白肌肤” have been employed; the ones addressing men use such words or phrases as “成功”, “豪迈奔放” which acknowledge men’s characteristics of masculinity; and the ones addressing children, the young, and the elderly have respectively employed language that is full of imagination, that infers challenging and adventures, and care and consideration. In non-commercial ads, however, the advertisers employ language that is perceptible and manifest to the general public. These ads created according to the cognitive, perceptive and inferential abilities of the target audiences, i.e. their cognitive environments are more attractive and creative. In the meantime, this thesis further substantiates why the RT approach in advertising creativity is more attractive and creative.

        The findings of the study might offer a new perspective for advertising creativity and be of help to people who wish to better understand and enjoy the advertising they encounter in their daily lives.

        This thesis has only focused on the creativity of commercial advertisements in print addressing people of different genders and ages, leaving TV ads and others addressing people of different professions, social strata and even nationalities and the like untouched, and it is hoped that people who are interested in this field may continue this research.

 

Key words: advertisers; audience; target audience; cognitive environment; Relevance Theory (To the top)

(More MA theses)

<> Created Friday 2005-5-23 by Shaozhong Liu <>

Last updated Wednesday 2007-8-8