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

A Pragmatic Study of Vague Language in English News

Author FuYanMei
Tutor LiXinMin
School Jilin University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords vague language adaptation news pragmatic
CLC H313
Type Master's thesis
Year 2009
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Vagueness is an intrinsic feature of language. It is a popular phenomenon widely existed in language. Generally speaking, precision is the primary element in news reporting, yet vague language can be found in news quite common, which is the drive for some researchers and scholars to carry out research on it.Based on predecessors’researches and some theories on vagueness, the paper tries to define vagueness, differentiate some similar notions; presents its features and proposed taxonomy; points out the reasons for existence of vague language in news. Based on Verschueren’s Linguistic Adaptation Theory and complement of Grice’s Cooperative Principle, by using the descriptive and interpretative qualitative research methods, the paper endeavors to prove different forms of vague language at lexical and syntactic levels by quoting some texts from three American, British, and Chinese authoritative newspapers; elaborates the adaptation of vague language to language users, to mental, social and physical worlds in the context; and summarizes the functions of vague language in news reporting. This paper illustrates that vague language is an effective strategy of language interaction and in news reporting, the result of adaptation to various contextual factors in order to realize the utterers’ goals. The existence of vague language has its objectivity, rationality and universality. This paper is expected to direct language participants to use and interpret vague language, to make a little contribution to the development of the vagueness research from Linguistic Adaptation Theory perspective later.

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