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    Sep.2008,Volume6,No.9(SerialNo.60)US-ChinaForeignLanguage,ISSN1539-8080,USA

    ;Chinesetextmessages:Aperspectiveof

    ;ostensiveinferentialcommunication

    ;MAJin-xing

    ;(CollegeofInternationalStudies,GuizhouUniversity,Guiyang550003,China) ;Abstract:BasedonSperberandWilson’sRelevanceTheory,thepresentpaperanalyzeshowthemobile

    ;phonesenderandreaderachievesuccessfulcommunicationfromtheperspectiveofostensive-inferential

    ;communication.ThepurposeofthestudyistotestifytheinterpretationpowerofRelevanceTheory,andenhance

    ;thereader’sunderstandingofChinesetextmessages.

    ;Keywords:Chinesetextmessages;RelevanceTheory;ostensive?inferentialcommunication

    ;1.Lead.inremarks

    ;Nowadays,mobilephoneownershipisubiquitous,andpeopleuseitconstantly.Textmessage(henceforth

    ;TM),isoneofthemostfrequentlyusedcommunicationformsamongmobilephoneusersbothinChinaand

    ;abroadatlargebecauseitsadvantagesuchaspromptness,convenience,economy,informativenessandvarietyhas

    ;owneditselfpopularitywithpeopleatanever-increasingpace.Nowonderthatithasbeencrownedas’’thefifth

    ;media”afternewspaper,broadcast,televisionandtheInternet.Themostnoteworthyoccasionisthefactthat

    ;mobileholderssendTMstooneanotherinanefforttomaintaintheirrelationships,exchangehformation,show

    ;concernorexpressgoodwishesuponthecomingofsometraditionalfestivals.Afteracarefulstudyofvarioustext

    ;messages,itcanbefoundthatmostofTMs,onthesuperficiallayerseemtoconveyaliteralmeaning,but

    ;speciallyintendedinformationisproducedtodeliverthemessagereaderswheninferringfromtheedited

    ;information.Furtherunderstandingmaygoasfollows:

    ;Example1.小琴:姑姑乘坐的列卓是明天下午5:25

    ……(XiaoQing:Thetrainouraunttakeswill

    ;arriveat5:25tomorrowafternoon.)

    ;Example2.尊敬的舍具:百盛雨店】271224黠皋行年终舍具粤埸折扣,

持横分流行服饰

    ;全埸5,逗勤,家鼋全埸7.58.8,歆迎光

    !(Respectedmembers:WelcometoBaishengShoppingPlaza!

    ;Withyourmembershipcards,youmayenjoy50%discountfornewfashions,75%fordomesticappliancesand

    ;88%forspotsitemsduringtheyear-endactivityfromDecember7thto24:00PM.,12th.) ;Bytakingtheabovetwoexamplesintoconsideration,wemay,atthefirstglance,takeitforgrantedthatTM

    ;senderwantstomakehis/herostensivebehaviorsmanifesttothereaderlikethefollowing: ;Example1.”Thetrainouraunttakeswillarriveat5:25tomorrowafternoon’seemstotellthereaderthe

    ;exacttimefortheiraunt’sarrivalbytrain.AnditisclearthatinExample2’BaiShengShoppingPlaza’s

    ;notificationencouragingcustomers’consumption’’issurelytoinformtheTMreaderofthetimeandplaceoffering

    ;bargainatfavorableprices”.

    ;rrobespecific.thesepiecesofmessagesarerepresentationsofcertainostensivebehaviorsmakingan

    ;32

    ;MAJinxing(I977-).male.M.A.1ecturerof’CollegeoflnternatkmalStudies.GuizhouU

    niversity:researchfield:pragnmtics

    ;Chinesetextmessages:Aperspectiveofostensive.inferentialcommunication ;intentionmanifesttoTMreaders.ButaccordingtoRelevanceTheory(RTforshort),ostensionprovidestwo

    ;layersofmeaningstobepickedup:first,thereistheinformationwhichhasbeen,sotospeak,pointedout:second.

    ;thereistheinformationthatthefirstlayerofinformationhasbeenintentionallypointedout(Sperber&Wilson.

    ;2003,P.50).Thenwhatisthesecondlayerofinformationandhowdoesthereaderpickitupintheabovetwo

    ;examplesrespectively?Toanswerthisquestion,theprocessoflocatingtheimplicitintentionwillbetakeninto

    ;consideration

    ;2.Ostensiveinferentialcommunication

    ;DisagreeingwiththeinterpretationofcommunicationfromboththecodemodelandinferentiaImOdei

    ;.

    ;Sperber&Wilsondevelopedanovelapproachtohumancommunicationgroundedinageneralview0fcognition

    ;.

    ;namely,ostensive_inferentialcommunication.Thefollowinggoesashowtheydefinedit: ;“Thecommunicatorproducesastimuluswhichmakesitmutuallymanifesttocommunicat

    orandaudiencethatthe

    ;communicatorintends,bymeansofthisstimulus.tomakemanifestormoremanifesttothea

udienceasetof

    ;assumptions”(Sperber&Wilson,2003,P63).

    ;AccordingtoRT,understandingisachievedwhenthecommunicativeintentionisfulfilled.The

    ;ostensive-inferentialprocessemphasizestheactiveandcognitiveroleoftheaddresserandtheaddressee.

    ;Onthe

    ;partoftheaddresser,s/heintentionallydeliverstherelevantpointsfromacognitivepointofview

    ;,otherwise,why

    ;doeshecommunicate?Asfortheaddressee,

    ;s/heautomaticallyprocessestherelevantinformation.

    ;3.TM’sinterpretationfromostensive.inferentialcommunication

    ;“TMdeliveryisaprocessofcommunicationbetweentheTMsenderandthereader’,(CHENPin2005)and

    ;aspecifictypeofcommunicationwithanaimtoinform,entertain,comfort,greetorevenpersuadethereader

    sending;thesendermakessomerelevantinformationknowntotheread;throughmessage

    erinawayofostension

    ;inorderthattheycanconveysomeideasorspecificpurposes.

    ;Withthehelpofhis/hercogfitiveenvironment,the

    ;readerembarksonprocessingandinferringthemessagesreceivedonthephonescreensoastocomprehendthe

    ;intentionsofthemessageeditor.HencethecomprehensionofTMisaprocessofsearchingforrelevance

    ;,which

    ;mustinevitablyabidebytheostensiveinferentialmode1.

    ;AccordingtoCummings(2007,PP.17.18),thefirst

    ;noteworthyfeatureofRTisitsapplicability,notjusttocommunication,buttothedomainofcognitioningeneral:

    ;Weassumethattheuniversalgoalincognitionistoacquirerelevantinformationandthemorerelevantthe

    ;better(2007,PP.1718).

    ;ForSperberandWilson,communicationisproperlypartofwidercognition(2007,PP.17.18).Startingfrom

    ;thispoint;wecanalsoapplyRTtoTMs’analysis.AsR

    pointsoutthattheessenceofinferencein

    ;communication1saprocessofostensionandinference.

    ;Soitisfullyjustifiedinextendingostensive-inferential

    ;communication,oneofthekeyvariantsunderRTtointerpretTMs.

    ;ThefollowingdiagramwillshowTM’s

    ;interpretationfromostensiveinferentialcommunication:

    ;33

    ;Chinesetextmessaees:Aperspectiveofostensiveinferentialcommunication

;Fig.1TM’sinterpretationfromostensive—inferentialcommunication

    ;3.1OstensiononpartofTMsender

    ;Example3.很久没聪系近柬可好?微明天起,136****9079是接通我的新斡线,

    迎随畴垂拘光酶!

    ;fHaven’tseenyouforalongtime,howareyoudoing?Fromtomorrowon,1369079isthenewnumberthat

    ;isavailableforme,welcomeyourtelephonecounseling!)

    ;1ntheaboveexampletheTMsenderfirstsendsExample3.tothereader,functioningasanostensiveactfor

    ;greetingsandindicatethats/hewillchangehis/herphonenumbertomorrow.Bythis,thesendermainlywantsto

    ;makehis/herinformativeintentionmanifesttothereaderanewphonenumberwillbeuse

    dfromtomorrowon,

    ;andanydialingoftheoldonewillnothavehim/herreached.Accordingtoostensive?inferentialcommunication,

    ;thereisanotherlayerofinformationthattheinformativeintentionhasbeenintentionallypointedout.Thenwhatis

    ;impliedundertheinformativeintention--thechangeofphonenumber?

    ;3.2InferencefromtheperspectiveofTMreader

    ;AsTMplaystheroleofconversing,thesenderostensivelystimulatesthereader’sreactionto

    his/her

    ;informativeintention,andtheTMreaderwilldecodethemessageonthephonescreenthathasbeenmade

    ;manifestbythesender,andthenmakeinferencesofthesender’scommunicativeintentioninacertaindirection

    ;withhis/herowncognitiveenvironment/contextualassumptionsassuch’’pragmaticinferencedoesnothaveto

    ;followanassertionbut,ratherisreasonableonworldknowledge”(Hunt&Ellis,2006,P.339).

    ;WhendecodingliteralformsofthereceivedTM”各位:键明天起,136****9079是接通

    我的新熟线,

    ;迎随畴垂翔光

    !”,thereaderrelatesseriesofoldassumptionsabouthis/herusualinterpersonalrelationships

    ;suchastheytwooftengooutfordinner,workinthesamecompanyorevengetacquaintedwitheachotherata

    ;party.Withtheseoldinformation/existingassumptionsrecallingandcombining,alogicimplicationwillofcourse

    ;occurtothereader’smindbecausetheinformativeintentiontendstoproducethecontextualimplication--the

    ;senderviathispieceofTMintendstoaskforthecontinualfuturerelationmaintenancebythenewphonenumber

    ;“13665109079”fromtomorrowon.

    ;3.3OstensiononpartofTMsender

;Example4.尊敬的用户:您好,200857?l958,您的馀额届7.66,

    盎快缴赞,以免影

    ;警你的正常使用

    (Dearcellphonesubscriber:Uptol9:58,May7th,2008,yourphonebalanceis7.66RMBonly. ;Pleasepayenoughphonebillsasquicklyaspossibleforyourconnectableservice). ;ThisisanordinaryTMfromtelecomoperatorsaimingatinformingthespecificmobilephoneuserofhis/her

    ;DI1Onebillbalance,whichfromlinguisticangleactsastheaddresser’sinformativeintention.Withthispieceof

    ;TMsentforthepurposeofnotification,thetelecomoperatorsareshowinganostensivebehaviortothephoneuser

    ;34

    ;ChinesetextmessaRes:Aperspectiveofostensive.inferentialcommunication ;thatthebalanceforhis/herphonebillisattheedgeofovercharges.Forthephoneuser(thesaidTMreader),what

    ;dothisTMfromtelecomoperatorsmeantohim/her?Definitely,pinpointingthepurposefulcontentof”尊敬的用

    ;:您好,2008571958,您的馀额属7.66,葡盎快缴费,以免影

    罄你的正常使用.”istohave

    ;thecommunicativeintentionofthesender--telecomoperator.

    ;3.4InferencefromtheperspectiveofTMreader

    ;DecodingsuchanalarmingTMhelpsthephoneuserrecalltheunnecessaryinconvenienceresultedfrom

    ;previousshortageinphonebills.Forthepartofthephonekeeper(TMreader),she/he,moreorlesshassuffered

    ;fromseriesofobjectiveexperiencestheoverchargeofphonebillresultedin.Especiallyaconnectablemobile

    ;phonecountsmostwhenoneisplacedinanurgentsituationcallingforimmediatehelporinevitablephone

    ;communication.Withtheseexperiencesassociated,thephoneusercaneasilyattendtotherelevancethatthe

    ;inconveniences,eventheunnecessarylossthephonebillofmobilephonesbringoutiftheuserfailstopay

    ;enoughphonebillsbeforehandorovercharges.Realizingthis,thephoneuser(TMreader)willspontaneouslypay

    ;forhis/herphonebill,whichisalsotherealizationofthetelecomoperator’scommunicativeintentionofthe

    ;ostensiveact.

    ;3.5OstensiononpartofTMsender

    ;Example5.不想给你骚短信,知道你T作特勤奋,不想藤你手橙警,一警就要浪费

    银雨,不是我的错,

    ;都是月亮惹的祸!中秋快

    !(1don’tbothertosendyouTMbecauseyouarebusywithyourworkaffairs:ldon’t

    ;phoneyouasourcellphonesaretwo-waychargingscheme;itisonthisMid-AutumnDaytha

tIsendyoumy

    ;blessingsthroughTM:HappyMidAutumnFestival!)

    ;Thesentmessage”不想给你骚短信,知道你T作特勤蓄,不想藤你手槎警,一警就要

    浪费银雨,不是

    ;我的错,都是月亮惹的祸!中秋快

    !”initiatesanostensivebehaviorandmakesmanifesttothereaderthat:

    ;She/hedoesnotbothertosendTMtothereaderbecauseshe/heknowsthereaderisfullyoccupiedinworkaffairs;

    waychargingscheme,butitis;she/hedoesnotcallupthereaderastheircellphonesaretwo

    uponthecomingof

    ;MidAutumnDaythathedeliversthemessage.Butwhatisimplicatedforthereaderunderthemessage?

    ;3.6InferencefromtheperspectiveofTMreader

    ;AstheinputofthisTMstrenglchenstheexistingassumptionsofthereaderatthetime,s/hewilltendto

    ;associatethoseexistingperceptionsabouttheirrelationswiththeinputoftheTM.Atthispoint,thesenderhasin

    ;his/hermindassetofassumptionssuchastheytwoaregoodfriendsandbusywiththeirownbusiness

    ;respectively;wheneverhelpiswanted,eitherofthetwosideswilltaketheinitiativetomeetthedemands.

    ;Triggeredbytheseoldassumptions,thereaderiseasilyaccessibletotherelevancethatthesenderisconsiderate

    ;anditisontheMidautumnfestivalthatapieceofblessingiseditedtogreethim/her.Aslongasthisrelevanceis

    ;secured,wecansayinasafemannerthattheTMsendersucceedsincommunicatinghis/herintention.

    ;4.Conclusion

    ;TMcommunicationisactuallytwosidesofthesameprocess.ViewedformtheTMsender,she/hewritesthe

    ;contentofmessageandthroughmobilephonesmanifeststheirinformativeintentionruderthelayerofwhicha

    ;speciallyintendedinformationisimplicated;namely,whattheTMsenderwantstoconveyimplicitlyunderlies

    ;whatshe/heeditsliterallybecauseanyofthesenders’ostensiveactproducesastimulusbymeansofwhichaset

    ;ofassumptionsismademanifestormoremanifesttothetargetTMreader. ;WhilefromthepartoftheTMreader,

    ;(tobecontinuedonPage39)

    ;35

    ;Thinkin~culturally:Astudyofcultureandooliteness

    ;respectmeatall!”Besides,unlikethewesternerswhousemostbanquettimetohavegoodch

    ats,theChinese

    ;hostsseldominitiatefriendlychats.Instead,theyoftenurgethegueststoeatmoretoshowthe

irpoliteness.We

    ;Chinese,asHCcommunicatorsareexperiencedinusingbehavioralcodestosendandreceivepolitenessmessages.

    ;Yet,LCcommunicatorsareofteninsensitivetoourpolitebehaviors.

    ;4.Conclusion

    ;Asisobservedbymanylinguists,thedifferencebetweenHCandLCisoneofthemajorsourcesof

    ;confusion,frustrationandmisunderstandingincrossculturalcommunications.Evident

    ly,ifHCandLC

    ;communicatorsdeemthattheirpolitenessconceptsarethesameclasheswillinevitablyhappen.Sowecanseeif

    ;peopledowanttobehavepolitely,theymustthinkculturally:highcontextcommunicator

    sshouldlearntouseand

    ;respondtowordsdifferentlyandlow-contextcommunicatorsshouldlearntopayattentiontocontextandlearnto

    ;interpretmeaningintermsofthecontext.

    ;References:

    90. ;E.T.Hal1.I976.Beyondculture.NewYork:Doubleday,74

    ;GeoffreyN.Leech..i983.Principlesofpragmatics.London:Longman.

    ;HelenSpencer-Oatey&JIANGWen-ying.2003.Explainingcrossculturalpragm

    aticfindings:Movingfrompolitenessmaximsto

    ;sociopragmaticinteractionalprinciples.JournalofPragmatics,35,1633-1650. ;JennyThomas.1995.Meaningininteraction:Anintroductiontopragmatics.PearsonEducationlnc..NewYork.

    ;LinellDavis.2001.Doingculture:Crossculturalcommun~ationinaction.ForeignLang

    uageTeachingandResearchPress.

    ;(continuedfromPage35)

    ;(EditedbyStella,MarlinandSunny)

    ;thedecodingofthereceivedTMisnotsimplytorelyontheduplicationoftheTM’sliteralcontentsbutinvolves

    ;inferringonthebasisofhis/herstoragesofinformationsuchaslogic,encyclopedicandlexicalinformation

    ;collectedbeforehandintheirmind.Byhavingthosepreviousstorages(oldassumptions)inmind,theTMreader

    ;caneasilyattendtotheplausiblerelevancethatanostensivebehaviorisimplied.Tobemorespecific,figuringout

    ;theTMsender’scommunicativeintentioninvolvesquestfornondemostrativeinference

    sbasedonthereader’s

    ;cognitiveabilities.Therefore,toidentifythesender’srealintentionisacognitivepsychologicalprocess

    ;throughoutwhichthetargetTMreaderinfersonthebasisoftheirowncognitiveenvironmentwithcombinationof

    ;thereceivedTMaddition

    ;References:

    ;CHENPing.2005.OnamusementChinesetextmessagefromRelevanceTheory.GuangxiSocialSciences.(5).

    ;Cummings.L.2007,Pragmatics:Amultidisciplinaryperspective.Beijing:PekingUniversityPress.

    ;Hunt.R.Reed&Ellis,Henry.C.2006.Fundamentalsofcognitive,psychology(7thed.).Beijing:PostandTelecomPress.

    ;Sperber,Dan&Wilson.Deirdre.2003.Communication:Relevanceandcognition.Beijing:ForeignLanguageleachingandResearch

    ;Press.BlackwellPublisherltd.

    ;(EditedbyStella,SunnyandMax)

    ;39

    ;

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