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英语话语标记语:Imean语用研究

时间:2015-07-02 10:19来源:硕士论文作者:lgg 点击:
This research about I mean attempts to provide new idea about the study ofdiscourse markers with the new point of view from two aspects, taking both speakerand listener into consideration.

Chapter One Introduction


1.1 Research background
Nowadays with the rapid progress of social development, people’s everydayconversations in TV, radio and other media are random and leisurely, which arousesmy attention, especially with these discourse markers. In English programs, likesome TV talk shows, discourse markers also appear naturally no matter in seriousprograms or in some entertainment programs. Although discourse markers appear tobe tiny in people’s utterance, they are unavoidable in everyday life like fresh air forpeople.In the fields of pragmatics, semantics and allied fields as well, the meaning andnature of discourse markers have been exploded during the last 30 years. As aparticular one or as a whole, the expressions like well, you know, I mean, sort ofwhich have been defined as discourse markers, in the understanding that they aresyntactically independent “units of talk” (Schiffrin, 2007:31) which are small unitsof talk that can construct utterance without affecting the propositional content. Itseems quite interesting that there are lots of names to identify such a languagephenomenon like discourse particle (Schourup, 1985), and pragmatic formatives(Fraser, 1987). Although people entitle it with various names, it is no doubt that itsnature remains steady and its use has been recognized by many researchers. RanYongping (2000) reviewed that there would be two branches that could embrace theresearches about this study: one is from semantics-pragmatics aspects like Schiffrin(2007) and Fraser (1997), and the other is from cognitive-pragmatics aspect likeBlackmore (1987). Meanwhile, discourse markers have been explored within a largenumber of frameworks with the merits of heterogeneous research interests,approaches and targets.
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1.2 Research significance
This research about I mean attempts to provide new idea about the study ofdiscourse markers with the new point of view from two aspects, taking both speakerand listener into consideration. As concluded from the previous studies, althoughdiscourse markers have received attention and have been carried into various studiesby researchers at home and abroad, the study of I mean also needs furtherexploration about its use and its characteristics.Compared with other discourse marker, I mean has received less attention andthe study about it has not been completely done and there are many aspects waitingto be explored. On the other hand, being a pair with You know, I mean plays secondfiddle in some researchers’ studies. Therefore, in order to draw a comparativelycomplete outline of I mean from different perspectives, the research would mainlyfocus on I mean.The past theses took much effort on some aspects of the use of I mean, butrarely draw a conclusion both from speaker’s and listener’s aspects. The presentresearch is attempt to attach importance to the study on I mean and some otherdiscourse markers relating with I mean in utterance processing. The thesis is to bedeveloped with the solid foundation on relevance theory and speech act theory andwith dual view angles both from listener and speaker.The present study will offer a detailed analysis of the discourse marker I meanin Oprah Winfrey talk show who is also active in hosting talk show programnowadays. The study is in an attempt to shed light on the function and characteristicsof I mean by the aid of materials got from talk show programs.
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Chapter Two Literature Review


2.1 Definitions of DMs
Defining discourse markers makes researchers have much close eyes for thenature of discourse markers. Meanwhile, in the process of giving a comparativelysound definition for discourse markers, we are provoked by thoughts about theexistence and use of discourse markers. Deborah Schiffrin (2007) made a thoroughresearch about discourse markers in various aspects. Schiffrin (2007) started from thediscussion about what the discourse is and provided a theoretical ground for thedetailed study of discourse markers. Based on the operational definition of markers,she has withdrawn several traits for discourse markers: units of talk, opening brackets,and sequential dependence. Schiffrin’s (2007) definition about discourse markers isquite open just because she believed that the nature of discourse analysis is vast andambiguous. She also discussed the markers in several segments of discourse and thensummarized the use and characteristics of each DM by qualitative and quantitativeapproaches. There is no general agreement upon the definition of the term discourse markers,despite wide researches from many distinguished linguists as Sperber and Wilson(2001), Schiffrin (2007), and Frazer (1990). The disparity not only applies to theactual words that can be classified as DMs, but also to the functionality of theseelements of speech. In English, Fraser (1990) has put forward a list of 32 DMs, butSchiffrin (2007), in an earlier study, only considered 23 words as qualifying forclassification as DMs. In addition, there were only 5 words in common between thetwo lists.
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2.2 Previous Studies of discourse markers2.2.1 Key Studies Abroad
Fraser (1990) concluded that although discourse markers were certainly not anewly discovered linguistic entity, systematic research of English discourse markersbegan only in the 1980s (Fraser, 1990:384). As it is known to all, the first group of theresearch effort was taken by Schourup (1985) who made good use of a kind oftripartite model to carry out the analysis of conversational discourse. His focus mainlywas laid on like, well and you know. Much more thorough researches belonged toSchiffrin (1982 ) who made a research about a model of discourse coherence, definedthe markers, and talked about the methodological issue dealing with markers andfinally categorized the markers.Schourup (1999) concentrated much energy on the terminology, definition,classification, and subclassification of discourse markers. From Schourup (1999)’spoint of view, the terminology for discourse markers presents a very hard task sincelots of terms compete for recognition and people can list “more than twenty suchterms” (Schourup, 1999:228). The discussion about the preference for “discoursemarkers” to “discourse particles” consumes lots of words to explain that discoursemarkers can be used “in a bewildering variety of ways within its restricted referentialrang” (Schourup, 1999:230). As for characteristics of discourse markers, Schourup(1999) has drawn a very complete outline of characteristics of discourse markers,which are so full and accurate that almost embrace all of the features that discoursemarkers might bear.
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Chapter Three Theoretical Frameworks......23
3.1 Relevance Theory......23
3.1.1 Principle of Relevance Theory.....23
3.1.2 The relevance of phenomena and stimuli....25
3.2 Speech Act Theory.........26
Chapter Four Methodology.....29
4.1 Research questions.........29
4.2 Research Procedure........29
4.3 Data collection......31
Chapter Five Analysis and Findings...... 33
5.1 The model of I mean...... 33
5.2 From speaker’s prospective......39
5.3 From listener’s prospective......46
5.4 Major findings and discussions.....49


Chapter Five Analysis and Findings


5.1 The model of I mean
All the videos of Oprah Talk Show are all authentic language spoken by the nativespeaker and downloaded from the Internet. The transcripts are firstly maintained in theform of word document. And then all the word documents have been transferred into txtdocument and accumulated into a small corpus. Taking BFSU PowerConc 1.0 beta20.exe as the tool for the exploration can not only save the energy to deal withenormous data but also can get a very neat layout of the data in analysis as the examplebelow. According to the table above, it is interesting to make a quite obvious finding, thatis, in an utterance, the most frequent a position for I mean lies in the medial of theutterance instead of in the initial part and needless to say the end of the utterance.The finding of the location of I mean coincides with its functions playing in theutterance. As Cao Fang (2004) in his research concluded that I mean has played variousroles in discourse understanding. They are discourse reminder, information modifier,information remedy and expression transition tools. All of those functions are closelyrelated to the information processing and therefore, I mean is closely attached with theinformation maintaining part of the utterance.

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Conclusion


Under the theoretical framework of relevance theory and speech act theory, thediscourse marker I mean has been given much focus and energy and efforts are laid onhow it works for the two aspects of utterance, the speaker and listener. The transcriptfrom Oprah Talk Show provides the authentic data which is processed into a smallcorpus and BFSU PowerConc 1.0 beta 20.exe is used for the analysis of data.With respect to the research questions announced, there are several findings in thisthesis: Compared with other discourse markers, like now, well, yes and etc, I mean is aclausal marker. Being as a discourse marker, I mean can not be divided, otherwise it cannot play its role as a discourse marker. With its own basic meaning, it is bestowed withthe procedural meaning. The most frequent location for I mean is the medial of theutterance.According to the data got from the statistic work, the most frequent position of Imean should be in the medial of the utterance, which occupy 82.9% compared withthe initial position 17.1%.
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