1887
Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

(一点, a little) in Chinese is commonly considered an indefinite and under-specific quantifier. This study provides some rethinking of through the lens of elasticity theory, based on real-life data from TV discussions. Elasticity theory offers new insights on the study of arguing that is both an elastic quantifier and a qualifier. The findings show that while indicates a small quantity and lesser degree, it is elastic and functions multi-dimensionally from mitigating to boosting. The frequency distributions of three pragmatic functions (just-right which is unmarked, mitigating and boosting which are marked) suggest that is used more for informational than interpersonal and political purposes. In a positive utterance tends to be a mitigator, but in negation it is a booster. The manifestation of elasticity is in ’s fluidity, stretchability and strategy, enabling it to stretch to suit various contexts and making it a powerful ‘little’ word that performs a ‘big’ role in communication.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/cld.7.1.01zha
2016-09-19
2019-11-15
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Aijmer, K
    2014 “Pragmatic Markers”. InCorpus Pragmatics: A Handbook, ed. by C. Rühlemann and K. Aijmer , 195–218. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bell, A
    1991The Language of News Media. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Biber, D. , and B. Gray
    2010 “Challenging Stereotypes about Academic Writing: Complexity, Elaboration, Explicitness”. Journal of English for Academic Purposes9: 2–20. doi: 10.1016/j.jeap.2010.01.001
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeap.2010.01.001 [Google Scholar]
  4. Blum-Kulka, S. , J. House , and G. Kasper
    1989Cross-Cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Brown, G. , and G. Yule
    1983Discourse Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511805226
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511805226 [Google Scholar]
  6. Cao, L.J
    . (曹利娟) 2011 “ Youdianr he yidianr jufa yuyi fenxi (‘有点儿’和‘一点儿’句法语义分析, The semantic and syntactic analysis of youdianr and yidianr)”. Journal of Chinese (语文学刊) 1: 67–68.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Channell, J
    1994Vague Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Chen, Y
    . (陈勇) 2011 “‘X yidian + Y yidian’ de yuyi leixing ji yuyong gongneng. (‘X一点+ Y 一点’的语义类型及语用功能, The semantic types and pragmatic functions of ‘X yidian + Y yidian’)”. Journal of Jilin Normal University (humanities edition) (吉林师范大学学报人文社会科学版) 2: 62–64.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Cheng, W
    2007 “The Use of Vague Language across Spoken Genres in an Intercultural Hong Kong Corpus”. InVague Language Explored, ed. by J. Cutting , 161–181. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9780230627420_9
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230627420_9 [Google Scholar]
  10. Cheng, W. , and A. O’Keeffe
    2014 “Vagueness”. InCorpus Pragmatics: A Handbook, ed. by C. Rühlemann and K. Aijmer , 360–378. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Cruse, D.A
    1977 “The Pragmatics of Lexical Specificity”. Journal of Linguistics13: 153–164. doi: 10.1017/S0022226700005363
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226700005363 [Google Scholar]
  12. Crystal, D. , and D. Davy
    1979Advanced Conversational English (8th ed.). London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Cutting, J
    2000 “Vague Language and International Students”. InThe Grammar of Spoken English and EAP Teaching, ed. by J. Cutting , 39–54. Sunderland: University of Sunderland Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. 2007Vague Language Explored. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9780230627420
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230627420 [Google Scholar]
  15. Ding, X.J. (丁晓俊) and L.L. Zhang
    (张榴琳) 2014 “Lun xiushi fouding fuci ‘bu/mei’ de ‘yi dianr ye/dou’ (论修饰否定副词‘不/没’的‘一点儿也/都’, Modifying and negative adverbs ‘bu/mei’ (not) in ‘yidianr ye/dou’)”. Modern Chinese (现代语文) 1: 62–65.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Drave, N
    2002 “Vaguely Speaking: A Corpus Approach to Vague Language in Intercultural Conversations”. InLanguage and Computers: New Frontiers of Corpus Research 16 (Papers from the Twenty-first International Conference of English Language Research and Computerized Corpora), ed. by P. Peters , P. Collins , and A. Smith , 25–40. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Du, D.L
    . (杜道流) 2008 “Liangci ‘dianr’ he ‘xie’ de renzhi tezheng (量词‘点儿’和‘些’的认知特征, The cognitive features of quantifiers ‘dianr’ and ‘xie’)”. Journal of Huaibei Coal Normal College (humanities edition) (淮北煤炭师范学院学报) 29 (1): 44–46.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Gray, B. , and D. Biber
    .2012 “Current Conceptions of Stance”. InStance and Voice in Written Academic Genres, ed. by K. Hyland and C. Sancho Guinda , 15–33. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9781137030825_2
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137030825_2 [Google Scholar]
  19. Grice, P.H
    1975 “Logic and Conversation”. InSyntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts, ed. by P. Cole and J.L. Morgan , 41–58. New York: Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Gu, J.H
    . (谷金花) 2013 Buding Liangci ‘Dianr’ ji Xiangguan ‘X Dianr’ Yongfa Qianxi (不定量词‘点儿’及相关‘X点儿’用法浅析, The analysis of the Indefinite Quantifiers ‘Dianr’ and ‘X Dianr’). Master’s thesis, Tianjin Normal University (天津师范大学), China.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Hale, S
    1999 “Interpreters’ Treatment of Discourse Markers in Courtroom Questions”. Forensic Linguistics6: 57–82.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Han, X.H
    . (韩晓慧) 2010 “Shuo Xiandai Hanyu de ‘yidianr’ he ‘youyidianr’ (说现代汉语的 ‘一点儿’和‘有一点儿’, ‘Yidianr’ and ‘youyidianr’ in modern Chinese)”. Journal of Chinese (语文学刊) 9: 81–82.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Hyland, K
    1998Hedging in Scientific Research Articles. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.54
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.54 [Google Scholar]
  24. Hu, L
    . (胡雷) 2008 “Cong ‘zhuguanliang’ he ‘keguanliang’ de jiaodu kan ‘yixie’ he ‘yidianr’ —qianxi yongzai youjie mingci qian de ‘yixie’ he ‘yidianr’ (从‘主观量’和‘客观量’的角度看‘一些’和‘一点儿’—浅析用在有界名词前的‘一些’和‘一点儿’, ‘Yixie’/‘yidianr’ + bounded nouns: perspectives from subjective and objective quantities)”. Journal of Inner Mongolia Agricultural University (humanities edition) (内蒙古农业大学学报社会科学版) 10 (2): 341–342.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Kempson, R.M
    1977Semantic Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Li, L.Q
    . (李丽群) 2005 Buding Liangci ‘Dian’ he ‘Xie’ de Duibi Yanjiu (不定量词‘点’和 ‘些’的对比研究, A Comparative Study of the Indefinite Quantifiers ‘Dian’ and ‘Xie’). Master’s thesis. Guangxi Normal University (广西师范大学), China.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Liu, S.H
    . (刘赛花) 2013 “‘Yidiandian’ yu ‘yidianr’ (‘一点点’与‘一点儿’, ‘Yidiandian’ and ‘yidianr’)”. Journal of Hetian Normal College (和田师范专科学校学报) 32 (4): 47–51.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Luan, S.S
    . (栾姗姗) 2014 Xiandai Hanyu ‘Yidian + VP’ Jiegou Yanjiu (现代汉语‘一点 + VP’结构研究, The Structure of ‘Yidian + VP’ in Modern Chinese). Master’s thesis, Jilin University (吉林大学), China.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Mey, J.L
    1993Pragmatics: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Moxey, L. , and A. Sanford
    1993Communicating Quantities: A Psychological Perspective. Hove (UK): Lawrence Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Ochs, E
    1996 “Linguistic resources for socializing humanity”. InRethinking Linguistic Relativity, ed. by J.J. Gumperz and S.C. Levinson , 407–437. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. O’Keeffe. A
    2004 “How to be vague and that kind of thing”. Presented at the 38th International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language Conference , Liverpool.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Parvaresh, V. , and T. Tayebi
    2014 “Vaguely Speaking in Persian”. Discourse Processes51 (7): 565–600. doi: 10.1080/0163853X.2013.874545
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0163853X.2013.874545 [Google Scholar]
  34. Rowland, T
    2007 “‘Well maybe not Exactly, but it’s Around Fifty Basically?’: Vague Language in Mathematics Classrooms”. InVague Language Explored, ed. by J. Cutting , 79–96. Basingstoke (UK): Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9780230627420_5
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230627420_5 [Google Scholar]
  35. Rue, Y.J. , and G.Q. Zhang
    2008Request Strategies: A Comparative Study in Mandarin Chinese and Korean. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/pbns.177
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.177 [Google Scholar]
  36. Ruzaitė, J
    2007Vague Language in Educational Settings: Quantifiers and Approximators in British and American English. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Rühlemann, C
    2007Conversation in Context: A Corpus-Driven Approach. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Rühlemann, C. , and K. Aijmer
    2014 “Corpus Pragmatics: Laying the Foundations”. InCorpus Pragmatics: A Handbook, ed. by C. Rühlemann and K. Aijmer , 1–26. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Sabet, P. , and G. Zhang
    2015Communicating through Vague Language: A Comparative Study between L1 and L2 Speakers. London: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9781137486387
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137486387 [Google Scholar]
  40. Schwarz-Friesel, M. , and M. Consten
    2011 “Reference and Anaphora”. InFoundations of Pragmatics (Vol. 1 of Handbooks of Pragmatics), ed. by W. Bublitz and N.R. Norrick , 347–372. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Shi, Y.Z
    . (石毓智) 2001Kending he Fouding de Duicheng yu Buduicheng (肯定和否定的对称与不对称, Symmetry and Asymmetry of Positivity and Negativity). Beijing: Beijing Language and Culture University Press (北京语言文化大学出版社).
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Shuy, R.W
    2014The Language of Murder Cases. Oxford: Oxford University Press. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199354832.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199354832.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  43. Sperber, D. , and D. Wilson
    1986/1995Relevance: Communication and Cognition. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Strawson, P.F
    1950 “On referring.” Mind59: 320–344. doi: 10.1093/mind/LIX.235.320
    https://doi.org/10.1093/mind/LIX.235.320 [Google Scholar]
  45. Stubbs, M
    1996Text and Corpus Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Trappes-Lomax, H
    2007 “Vague Language as a Means of Self-Protective Avoidance: Tension Management in Conference Talks”. InVague Language Explored, ed. by J. Cutting , 117–137. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. doi: 10.1057/9780230627420_7
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230627420_7 [Google Scholar]
  47. Yang, J.M
    . (杨嘉敏) 1994 “‘ Yidianr’ he ‘youdianr ’ (‘一点儿’ 和‘有点儿’, ‘Yidianr’ and ‘youdianr’)”. Chinese Study (汉语学习) 83 (5): 45.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Yule, G
    1996Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Zhang, Q
    1996The Semantics of Fuzzy Quantifiers. PhD thesis, University of Edinburgh, U.K.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Zhang, G
    2011 “Elasticity of Vague Language”. Intercultural Pragmatics8 (4): 571–599. doi: 10.1515/iprg.2011.026
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iprg.2011.026 [Google Scholar]
  51. 2013 “The Impact of Touchy Topics on Vague Language Use”. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication23 (1): 87–118. doi: 10.1075/japc.23.1.06zha
    https://doi.org/10.1075/japc.23.1.06zha [Google Scholar]
  52. 2015Elastic Language: How and Why We Stretch Our Words. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781139236218
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139236218 [Google Scholar]
  53. Zhou, Y.L
    . (周元琳) 1999 “‘(Yi)dianr’ de yufa gongneng he yuyong tezheng (‘(一)点儿’的语法功能和语用特征, The grammatical functions and pragmatic features of ‘(yi)dianr’)”. Journal of Anqing Teachers College (humanities edition) (安庆师范学院学报社会科学版) 18 (5): 94–98.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Zhu, D.X
    . (朱德熙) 1982Yufa Jiangyi (语法讲义, Lectures on Grammar ). Beijing: The Commercial Press (商务出版社).
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Zou, X.L
    . (邹晓玲) 2006Xiandai Hanyu ‘Xingrongci + Yidian’ Yanjiu (现代汉语‘形容词+一点’研究, ‘Adjective + Yidian’ in Modern Chinese). Master’s thesis, Xiangtan University (湘潭大学), China.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/cld.7.1.01zha
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): a little , Chinese , elasticity , quantifier , vague language and yidian
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error