Talk show programs are becoming increasingly popular with the audience in China. Some talk show programs feature some appealing hosts who enjoy their fame for the skillful managing of the talks in the programs. Topic shifting is the core of talk management (Jan Svennevig, 1999:186), which enables the present topic to flow to the next naturally and thereby makes the talks taking place in a talk show program as a whole. As such, one probably would ask the following questions: How could a topic be shifted to another smoothly and thereby makes the talks in a talk show program closely linked as a whole? Are there any principles to follow? Are there any techniques to do it? This thesis is devoted to answering these questions.
Based on the four principles for and two distinct techniques of topic shifting in common topical talk, which are proposed by Jan Svennevig in his 1999's work, and taking the nature and characteristics of talk show into full account, the thesis has explored the principles and the techniques of topic shifting in talk show programs. Through the analysis of the talks taking place in different episodes of a CCTV talk show program, Dialogue, the thesis has demonstrated that under some circumstances the principles for and techniques of topic shifting of common topical talk are applicable but under some other circumstances not. On this basis, the thesis has proposed amendments to the principles and techniques accordingly, and thereby outlined the principles for and techniques of topic shifting in case of talk show. At the end, a case study is done. Through the case study, what have been discussed previously is presented in a more practical perspective.
As pointed out at the end of the thesis, it has left many questions without answers or even untouched. Much work still needs to be done before we may have a clear idea of how a topic can be shifted to another naturally under different circumstances.