Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Grammar

Nominalization in News Discourses-A Presupposition-based Approach

Author HouWenJuan
Tutor ZhangJinAn
School Zhengzhou University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords news discourses nominalization pragmatic presupposition
CLC H314
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Nominalization is a normal phenomenon in English, especially in written English. Different linguists try to account for the phenomenon from different approaches, arriving at different conclusions. This thesis is a pragmatic analysis of nominalization in news discourses based on the presupposition approach.News discourses are quite different from other discourses. And they are all-inclusive, from natural science and social science, especially politics, economics, education, culture to daily expressions. To achieve the effect of conciseness and formality, sentences and phrases are usually condensed into a smaller space by encapsulating processes or other elements into nouns. And in this case, the complex information will be condensed into a simple noun or a noun phrase. So it often makes the Chinese students feel confused in understanding the information in news discourses.Furthermore, nominalization is an effective way to transfer a complex clause into a simple statement or assertion. Through the nominalization of theme or subject, it can presuppose something uncertain as certain or established to make the information more natural and acceptable. Therefore, nominalization is also an important way to realize presupposition in news discourses. And from the viewpoint of pragmatics, news reports are a kind of pragmatic behaviors. To be more specific, it aims to inform readers the latest news and make them believe it.Nominalization often happens with verbs and adjectives, sometimes with prepositions and conjunctions. This thesis mainly focuses on verbal and adjective nominalization since they are the most common cases. This thesis aims to find the deep mechanism that underlies the choice of nominalization in news discourses, hoping to dig up the potential factors that prompt the newspaper editors’preference for the linguistic device. The theoretical framework of the present study is based on presupposition theory. In accordance with this theory, nominalization is understood as a kind of linguistic choice and a linguistic strategy that can be exploited by a language user to achieve some of his communicative goals. And we hope to help Chinese students better understand the news discourses and thus they can further apply nominalization to daily communication and English writing.This thesis is divided into five chapters.Chapter One gives a brief introduction to this thesis—the object and rational of the present research, the source of the data, the significance of the research and the organization of the thesis.Chapter Two is the literature review of different approaches to nominalization and points out their limitations. And the perspective of the present study is also prompted in this section. The linguist who earliest studied on nominalization is Jespersen, whose research laid the foundation for Chomsky’s generative grammar. And then the researches are mainly done within the framework of transformational-generative grammar, a position represented by Chomsky, Lees, etc., while Halliday enclosed nominalization in grammatical metaphor, and connect it with the conceptual metaphor, and studied from the perspective of function. But there are also some drawbacks:They didn’t realize that the main aim to use nominalization was to communicate, and to lead a result of choice in conscious.In Chapter Three the author discusses the definition, classification of nominalization and the definition of presupposition, and gives a rough idea of how to realize the functions of presupposition through nominalization.Chapter Four is main part of this thesis, which recounts that how to realize the functions of presupposition through nominalization in news discourses. That is to say, nominalization can make the news coherent, negotiable, information focused, concealed, concise, objective and official.Chapter Five is the conclusion part, which includes the major findings, pedagogical implications, limitations and suggestions.

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