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Speech Acts and Speech Act Verbs

(5,042 words)

Author(s): Yueguo GU
1. Introduction Suppose that Speaker A says to B: 1. 明天到我家喝酒去。    Míngtiān    dào  wǒ   jiā        hē       jiǔ         qù.    tomorrow   to     1sg  house  drink  alcohol  go    ‘Tomorrow, come to my house to have a drink.’ Given the right circumstances (e.g., Speaker A is sincere when he utters the utterance), B interprets A’s utterance as an act of yāoqǐng 邀請 ‘inviting’. In other words, in saying (1) to B, Speaker A has performed an act of yāoqǐng. This observation seems quite mundane, as any competent language user can readily come up with many instances to illustrat…
Date: 2017-03-02

Face

(2,536 words)

Author(s): Yueguo GU
Face, thanks to Brown and Levinson’s (1978, 1987) seminal work, has attracted an enormous amount of attention in linguistic pragmatics. Goffman’s now well-recognized classic paper “On Face-work” (Goffman 1955; reprinted in Goffman 1972) has similarly influenced sociology. Interestingly, both works acknowledge their debt to the Chinese origin of face. Ho (1976:867) writes: “the concept of face is, of course, Chinese in origin, and the term is a literal translation of the Chinese lien [ liǎn] and mien-tzu [ miànzi] (cf. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary 1944; Webster’s Dictiona…
Date: 2017-03-02

Implicature

(3,182 words)

Author(s): Yueguo GU
1. Introduction The word implicature is primarily used as a shorthand for conversational implicature, which was first coined by Grice (1989 [1967]) to capture the phenomenon that what is meant by the speaker can be more than what is said. The following exchange between two female neighbors is a case in point. A: 他家姑娘有了,還沒結婚呢!   Tā    jiā          gūniang    yǒu   le,    hái   méi  jiéhūn  ne!   3sg  family  daughter   has   asp  still  not   marry  prt   ‘His daughter is pregnant. Not married yet!’ B: 真的?!   Zhēn  de?!   real    prt   ‘Really?!’ There is an implicature associated with A…
Date: 2017-03-02

Terms of Address, Modern

(3,634 words)

Author(s): Yueguo GU
1. Introduction  This article is about verbal expressions used to address persons directly or indirectly in modern China, primarily Mainland China, since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949. The set comprises two general categories: (1) ad hoc address terms, e.g., tuīchēde 推車的 ‘the person pushing the bike’, dàiyǎnjìngde 戴眼鏡的 ‘the person wearing glasses’; and (2) stable, highly lexicalized ones. The latter is traditionally divided, grammatically speaking, into four sub-sets: pronouns, proper names, titles, and kinship terms. The ad hoc class will be left untouched,…
Date: 2017-03-02

Grice's Cooperative Principle from a Chinese Perspective

(4,554 words)

Author(s): Yueguo GU
1. Grice’s Cooperative Principle in Its Original Formulation: A Synopsis In spite of its profound influence in pragmatics, it is unbelievably mundane, to quote Grice himself: Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged. One might label this the Cooperative Principle. (Grice 1975:26) “Echoing Kant”, Grice elaborates the Cooperative Principle (henceforth: CP) in four “categories” or “maxims”, which can be glossed as follows: The maxim of quantity: make…
Date: 2017-03-02

Calligraphy

(2,641 words)

Author(s): Yueguo GU
Should a poll be conducted to find out what are the most distinctive features, if any, of Chinese culture against the upsurge of economic globalization, Chinese calligraphy is very likely to be one. For one thing, it capitalizes on the Chinese writing system, being one of the oldest writing systems still in use. For another, it is a visual form of art in handwriting that has been continuously practiced and treasured over 3,000 years. For proper appreciation of this ancient as well as current art…
Date: 2017-03-02