Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Semantics,pragmatics,lexicology, meaning school > Semantics, pragmatics

A Pragmatic Study of Deception as a Strategy in Verbal Communication: An Adaptation-based Approach

Author ZhangShuLing
Tutor HeZiRan
School Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Pragmatic Strategies Non- real Discourse Compliance Speech Communication Mao Zedong Korean War Pragmatics Plums Romance of the Three Kingdoms
CLC H030
Type PhD thesis
Year 2006
Downloads 933
Quotes 7
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With the scope widening of pragmatic studies, more and more cross-face studies in pragmatics arise. Interactional sociolinguistics is such a study of which pragmatic strategy becomes one research object. Deception, as a pragmatic strategy of speech acts, has frequently been employed in verbal communication and has good effects on smooth interaction. But it is rarely studied as a pragmatic strategy, rather it attracts attention mainly from ethics, philosophy, psychology, sociology, rhetoric, linguistic logic and so on.Although the past research has achieved much success, there are still some unresolved problems, one major of which is lack of theoretical explorations of deception, this common linguistic phenomenon. For the sake of it, the present study attempts to integrate deception into a pragmatic theory trying to provide description and explanation of this language use.On the basis of Verschueren’s adaptation theory (1999) a conceptual framework of deception is presented. And data used are from three sources: note-taking, literary works and TV plays, and those quoted from some books in terms of communication. Theory-driven and data-driven, the present study has obtained some findings through answering three questions: (1) How does deception operate in verbal communication? (2) What are the mechanisms and motivations behind deception selection? (3) What are the pragmatic effects of strategic deception?As to the first question, it is found that deception is a kind of manipulation in the area of the propositional content manifested by three ways: intentionally misrepresenting the true information, withholding pertinent information on purpose, and deliberately masking covert violation of topic relevance. Hence the scope of deception is broadened compared with past studies which mainly focus on lying.In relation to the second question, it is found that the communicators’ mental world and social world determine the choices of deception. In opting for deception, communicators adapt to the emotions of the utterer or interpreter, the psychological motivations of protecting self and of keeping esteem of self or others and cultural

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