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

A Study on Pride and Prejudice from Semantics and Pragmatics

Author ZuoZuo
Tutor ShiZuoZuo
School North China Electric Power University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Speech Act Theory the Cooperative Principle Conversational Implication Pride and Prejudice cohesion
CLC H313
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Pride and Prejudice is the masterpiece of Austin who is the British realistic critic. She makes vivid description on her portrayal of character. It is very common to analyze literary works by means of literary stylistics, while analyzing literary works by way of linguistics is rare. Reviews on the novel are made and the necessity of analyzing the novel from the linguistic approach is thus introduced. Irony is the most distinguished characteristic in the novel, and it is hard to understand the Conversational Implication if the conversation in the novel is analyzed only from literal meaning. As a consequence, there is the possibility to analyze literary works from the points of related semantic and pragmatic theories. The character’s conversational art of the famous works is analyzed by way of grammatical cohesion and lexical cohesion in semantic field. In addition, Speech Act Theory, Cooperative Principle and Conversational Implication in pragmatic field are employed to make study of how Austin depicts characters as well. Semantics mainly studies the literal meaning while pragmatics focuses on explaining conversational meaning. As a new way to appreciate the famous literary works, analysis from the perspectives of semantics and pragmatics will help readers have a better understanding of the works.Firstly, the study is based on a synthetic theory frame, including Speech Act Theory, the Cooperative Principle, and Conversational Implication, grammatical and lexical cohesion in order to explore the sophisticated personalities of different characters in the novel. The thesis employs Speech Act Theory to analyze conversations to emphasize the influence of speakers’mind on speech acts. The purpose of using Speech Act Theory is to deduce the real intention of speakers in concrete context by means of analyzing the surface structure. Secondly, Cooperative Principle is employed to make study of conversations between characters in the novel. Thirdly, the Conversational Implication is produced through violating the Cooperative Principle in communication, which produces the humorous and ironic tone for the novel, is also studied in this thesis. In the forth place, the thesis uses grammatical cohesion and lexical cohesion put forward by Halliday and Hasan to analyze the works. Cohesion, as the most significant part, expresses the continuity between different parts in a text. As a consequence, it comes to the conclusion: readers can trace back the lost information with the help of cohesion to have a better appreciation of the novel. At last, the complementation between semantics and pragmatics, that is to say, the complementation between sentence structure and sentence function and the complementation between sentence meaning and utterance meaning, are employed to make study of the works.In view of exploring linguistics analysis on Pride and Prejudice, on one hand, readers can further develop to a better understanding about the novel. On the other hand, applying linguistics theories in literary studies is feasible..

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