Patterns of plural NP + dou (都) expressions in conversational discourse and their pedagogical implications

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As a common adverb, dou (都) ‘all, every, completely, even’ has received extensive attention from various theoretical approaches. However, most previous studies tend to focus on its semantic scope and quantification functions. In this paper, we take an interactional linguistics approach to explore one of the most commonly seen subtypes of dou expressions, Plural NP + dou, in conversational discourse. Our findings show that, in general, subjective use outnumbers objective use, contrary to what is implied in most earlier studies. On the basis of the discourse-based findings, we propose ways to integrate the research results in language teaching, with particular reference to material design, classroom activities, and assessment methods.


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