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

A Study of the Pragmatic Functions of Vagueness in Diplomatic Language

Author WuLiangHui
Tutor PanXiQing
School Huaqiao University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords vagueness diplomatic language Cooperative Principle Politeness Principle Linguistic Adaptation Theory
CLC H030
Type Master's thesis
Year 2012
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Vagueness of language is a universal phenomenon and the study of it is also of great importance. In the present study, the writer aims to make a relatively comprehensive study of the pragmatic functions that vagueness plays in diplomatic language on the basis of Cooperative Principle (CP), Politeness Principle (PP) and Linguistic Adaptation Theory (LAT). Materials collected for the present study are mainly remarks made by spokespersons both at home and abroad at press conferences in these two years.The thesis will make a comprehensive introduction of the relevant literature reviews and theories adopted in the present study. Then, the writer will focus on case study, with the sub-maxims of CP and PP being adopted respectively in analyzing those vague words and vague expressions (lexical, syntactic and discourse level included) employed in the diplomatic language. As the basic feature of diplomacy is interests-oriented, too much modesty will not do anything good. Thus, the modesty maxim will not be included in the present study. Finally, the writer will adopt Linguistic Adaptation Theory to analyze the vagueness at discourse level and common functions that vagueness plays in diplomatic language will be well summarized in the end.Generally speaking, the present study of the pragmatic functions of vagueness in diplomatic language is both theoretical and practical. In theory, it manages to promote the development and broaden the explanatory force of the two principles---Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle, so does the Linguistic Adaptation Theory. In practice, it would be beneficial to better understanding and better interpretation of the spokespersons’remarks, and it also makes for better understanding of vagueness in other discourse types. In addition, the writer also hopes that the present study will be able to shed some light on vague language teaching and learning and the development of communicative skills.In the end, the writer is going to draw a conclusion, including the major findings, implications and limitations of the present study and the suggestions for further study.

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