|英文||An Analysis of English Political Speeches from the Perspecitve of Adaption Theory|
|毕业论文写作时间||2014年1月 23 日至 2014 年 5 月 23 日|
Literature Review (Background)
Jef. Verschueren first proposed Adaption Theory in his book Understanding Pragmatics (1999). He put forward three key notions related to language choice-making—variability, negotiability and adaptability. These notions enable the language users to make linguistic choice to adapt to their currentt communicative needs. The adaption theory can be dealt with from four angles of investigation for pramatic description and explanation: contextual correlates of adaptability, structural objects of adaptability, dynamics and salience of adaptation processes.
Qian Guanlian(1990) is the first scholar who introduced Adaption Theory to the pragmatic field in China. He disscussed the theoretical origin and the whole sturcture of the Adaption theory, and also evaluates and distinguishes the new theory from the other pragmatic theories. Other scholars such as Ge Lingling(2002), Song Zhiping(2004), Cao Yunying(2004) etc. applied this theory in the research of translation. This theory was also applied in the field of language acquisition such as Xie Shaowan(2003) and Huang Chengfu(2006). Since the adaption theory takes in to full consideration the social, linguistic and cognitive factors, it is useful to be applied to analyse different kinds of discourses. Scholar such as Qin Xiaofeng(2008), Tang Fang(2010) and Du Xiuhong(2007) applied the adaption theory in the analysis of discourses.
Since the United States has very strong political power to affect the international situation, the speeches delivered by the US leaders have been studied by many scholars in different fields. Linguistic researches on those political speeches are conducted both at home and abroad, and researchers mainly focus on one or a few aspects of the political speeches, such as interpersonal meanings, stylistics, figure of speeches, ideology and so on. Few have done a comprehensive study on linguistic, social and cognitive factors of the speeches. The adaption theory proposed by Verschueren take into full consideration of these factors in the process of language use, serving as a comprehensive linguistic tool to analyse a communicative event in a spercific context. Therefore, this thesis is going to analyse the four selected political speeches under the guidance of the adaption theory.
This thesis will emphasise on the contextual adaption and the linguistic choice made to adapt to spercific context. The speakers are constantly making linguistic choice at all level of the text when making adaption to communicative context. The adaption to both the speakers and audience’s social world, mental states and physical surroundings will be explored, through which the ideology and social relations hidden behind the text will be revealed. The adaption in linguistic structure including the speakers’ choice at sound structure, lexical level and syntactical level will be illustrated in detail to reveal the speakers’ language strategies in achieving their polictical aims.
This thesis wil give the readers a different angle to further understand a political speech, enabling them to discover the hidden ideology and the well-chosen language strategies serving to achieve plictical aims. It will also give the readers some inspiration about logical thinking and skills of speech.
Questions to be investigated:
1. What contextual correlates do the speakers adapt to ?
Contextual correlates in Verschueren’s adaption theory consist of communicative context and linguistic context. In this thesis analysis of the adaption to context in political speech will be conducted from the pespective of adaption to communicative context which covers adaptibility in social world, mental world and physical world of the utterers and interpreters. In the process of linguistic choice making, the utters are making adaption to the social relationship between themseleves and interpreters, the mental states and the physical surroundings as well. The adaption on this three aspects will be respectively analysed in detail.
2. What kind of utterence-builidng ingredients do the speakers employ for making adaption to those context ?
Structural objects of adaptibiliy is one of the four investigation angles in Verschuerence’s adaption theory. Adaption in linguistic structure could be analysed at all aspect of language, from some overarching levels such as languages, cedes and styles to the basic utterance-building ingredients. As the political speeches selected in this study are all standard American English in a formal style, attention will be paid to analyse the utterance-building ingredients, that is, analysis will be conducted from sound structure, choice at lexical level and choice at syntactical level:
1) In sound structure, analysis will focus on some techniques the speaker employed such as alliteration, asyndeton, polysyndeton and parallelism. Adaption at this level will be illustrated by analysing examples presented such rhyme and rhythm.
2) At lexical level, adaption involving the using of personal pronouns and modal verbs will be illustrated. Also full explanation on the context the speakers adapted to and the effectiveness they achieved will be given.
3) At syntactical level, analysis will focus on the choice of mood, tense and voice.Why the speaker made such choice and what context they adapted to will be explained.
1. Lack of knowledge about the political background of the speeches.
2. Errors might appear in the statistics when quantitative method is employed.
1. Context correlates adaptibility (from the perspective of communicative context)
1) Adaption to social world
2) Adaption to mental world
3) Adaption to physical world
2. Linguistic objects Adaptibility ( from the perspecitve of utterence-building ingredients)
1) Sound structure
2) Lexical level
3) Syntactical level
Methodology and Data Collection
Both qualitative and quantitative methods will be employed in this thesis. Qualitative method will be employed throughout the analysis of all the speeches, through which the adaption in different aspects of communicative context will be illustrated and features of the linguistic choice will be described.
To make the research more scientific and accurate, quantitative method is employed in the second part of case analysis. The frequency and distribution of personal pronouns, modal auxiliaries, tense, voice and mood in the speeches will be measured and presented to provide scientific confirmation for the qualitative study.
Four political speeches collected from the Internet will be analysed, including Barack Obama’s inaugural address in 2013 and victory speech in 2012, Joe Biden’s speech at Sichuan University in 2011 and Hillary Clinton’s endorsement speech in 2008.
1.1 Research Background
1.2 Significance of the study
1.3 Organization of the thesis
2. Literature Review
2.1 Previous Studies on Adaption theory
2.1.1 Studies on Adaption theory abroad
2.1.2 Studies on Adaption theory at home
2.2 Previous Studies on political speech
3. Theoretical Framework and Methodology
3.1 Verschueren’s Adaption Theory
3.1.1 Language Use as Making Choices
3.1.2 Three Properties of Language
3.1.3 Four Angles of Adaptibility
3.2 Methodology and Data Collection
4. Analysis of Adaption in Political Speech
4.1 Adaption to Communicative Context in Political Speech
4.1.1 Adaption to Social World
4.1.2 Adaption to Mental World
4.1.3 Adaption to Physical World
4.2 Choice of Linguistic Structure in Political Speech
4.2.1 Sound Structure
4.2.2 Linguistic Choice at Lexical Level
188.8.131.52 Choice of Personal Pronouns
184.108.40.206 Choice of Modality
4.2.3 Linguistic Choice at Syntactical Level
220.127.116.11 Choice of Mood
18.104.22.168 Choice of Voice
22.214.171.124 Choice of Tense
5.1 Summary of the Findings
5.2 Implication of the Study
5.3 Limitation of the Study
Total time: 4 months
The first manuscript:
Jan.23, 2014 – Mar.11,2014 (Winter vacation to week 1)
The second manuscript:
Mar.11,2014 – April.14,2014 (Week 2 to week 7)
The final manuscript:
April.14,2014–May.12,2014 (Week 8 to week 11)
Preparation for dissertation defense:
Verschueren, J. Understanding Pragmatics. Beijing: Foreigh Language Teaching and Research Press, 2000
Coulmas, F. Language Adaption. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989
Wilson, J. Politically Speaking: The Pragmatic Analysis of Political Language. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990
何自然(He, Ziran), 于国栋(Yu, Guodong). 《语用学的理解》——Verschueren的新作评价. 现代外语，1999
钱冠连(Qian, Guanlian). 语用学：统一连贯的理论框架——《理解语用学》述评. 外语教学与研究，2000
冉永平(Ran, Yongping). 言语交际的顺应—关联性分析. 外语学刊，2004
谢少万(Xie, Shaowan). 顺应理论与外语教学. 外语与外语教学，2003
谢少万(Xie, Shaowan). 也评“顺应理论”. 西安外国语学院学报，2003
李元胜(Li, Yuansheng). 顺应论在中国的研究综述. 成都大学学报，2007
曾亚平(Zeng, Yaping). 从批评性话语分析角度解读奥巴马的总统选举获胜演讲. 外语与外语教学，2009
王建国(Wang, Jianguo). 从语用顺应论的角度看翻译策略与方法. 外语研究，2005
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