A Contrastive Study on the Speech Act of Requests
【摘要】：This thesis is a contrastive study on the speech act of requests from a pragmatic
Since Austin launched speech act theory in 1962, more and more attention has
been paid to language use in communication, e.g., the relationship between linguistic
form and context. Many linguists made their contribution to the development of
speech act theory, such as Searle, Grice, Leech, Brown and Levinson. In 1 980s,
members of CCSARP (Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realization Project) claimed that
the study of speech acts falls in the area of linguistic communication and empirical
investigation of speech acts would be illuminating and complement the explanatory
force of speech act theory. What is got from the study of speech acts may manifest
rules of speaking, interactional styles and cultural values of a certain speech
community. It is really helpful and useful in second language teaching and learning
and can make the cross-cultural communication more successful and improve the
communicative competence of second language learners. Therefore, they carried out
their international investigation into two speech acts of requests and apologies in eight
languages or language varieties. They aimed to investigate the similarities and
differences in the realization patterns of given speech acts across different languages
and to investigate the effect of social variables on the realization patterns of given
speech acts within specific speech communities. However, what was lacking in
CCSARP is that Chinese requests were not covered in their research. Chinese requests
are worth investigating in order to verify the findings in other languages by CCSARP.
This is what I try to pursue in the paper.
The speech act of requests is one of the focus of their interests, since requests are
face-threatening in nature and the requester will try what s/he can to reduce or
increase the imposition of the requests for communicative purposes. All the different
requestive strategies will make up a rich repertoire of requests available to requesters.
CCSARP collected and analyzed the data by means of OCT (Discourse Completion
Test) in eight languages or language varieties from several countries.
My thesis describes the realization patterns of the speech act of requests in
Chinese, and to compare them with those in English, so as to establish differences and
similarities between them. Exploring the hidden reason for such differences and
similarities from a pragmatic point of view is also a major task of the paper.
Following the methodological framework provided by CCSARP the corpus of the
data were collected by means of DCT from the target population of college students.
The supplementary investigation (Multiple-Choice Questionnaire) was then carried
out among them to access the subjects?perception of such social factors as social
distance between the participants, dominance, rank of imposition, etc. The
investigation also represents the relationship between requestive linguistic forms and
the context where they are embedded. The findings from the study reveal that these
factors play significant roles in determining the choice of requestive strategies, and
the application of other linguistic devices for the realization of the requested acts and
specific communicative purposes.
The data were analyzed according to the coding scheme provided by CCSARP
(with certain refinements). What I got from the investi