Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Semantics,vocabulary,semantic

Reinforceability as One of Conversational Implicature Properties: a Contrastive Study between Chinese and English

Author MaYue
Tutor ZhangShaoJie
School Northeast Normal University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Conversational Implicature Reinforceability Manifestation Contrastive Study
CLC H313
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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The conversational implicature theory has been heatedly discussed and interpreted in the field of pragmatics since its inception by Grice in 1967. Reinforceability, one of conversational implicature properties initially proposed by Sadock in 1978, is considered as a phenomenon occurring frequently in natural discourse (Hirschberg, 1991). This paper aims at examining reinforceability manifested in both English and Chinese, with an attempt to discover the realization features which include their phonetic, lexical and syntactic features, and account for their communicative functions and distributional features respectively.By way of notetaking, encountering in experience and recording in interaction, the author collected 60 extracts from daily life conversations, TV series, and network talks. Based on the detailed analysis, the thesis reaches the following conclusions:(1) Generally speaking, manifestations of reinforceability can be classified according to kinds of conversational implicatures, realization features, communicative functions and distributional features. Besides, metalinguistic negation is also found to be one kind of reinforceability manifestation.(2) Reinforceability manifested in both Chinese and English are phonetically focused on the reinforced part and lexical markers, exhibit both explicit and implicit lexical features, function as“a double-edged sword”in interpersonal relationships, distribute in three types---“SELF, ADJACENT, LAST”and are dominant with simple sentences.(3) Differences in manifestations also appear in the two languages. English is more phonetic-dependent, more diversified in lexical markers and with elliptical phrases. Manifestations in Chinese are more symmetrical in syntactic patterns and tend to show that reinforceability functions as establishing solidarity between interlocutors.(4) It is observed that factors like communicative context, language itself, cultural influence and personal characteristics of the speaker all have their impact on the similarities and differences of reinforceability in its manifestations.It is hoped that the current study, by presenting a general account of reinforceability, can shed some light on the further deeper study of this topic.

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