综合视角下英语程度反义词不对称现象研究

来源: www.sblunwen.com 作者:lgg 发布时间:2015-03-01 16:05 论文字数:35860字
论文编号: sb2015022713395811894 论文地区:中国 论文语言:English 论文类型:硕士毕业论文 论文价格: 150
This paper would be based on a large number of statistic data. The methods aresorting, classifying, note-taking, labeling and computer-typing. According to thecollected research data, the author would do a further research about the asymmetry use

Chapter One Introduction


1.1 Scope
This paper is intended to discuss gradable antonymous adjectives which constitutea subset of gradable antonyms which, according to Hu Zhuanglin (2013), are thecommonest type of antonym. Antonymy is the term for oppositeness relation in meaning.There are three sub-types: gradable antonymy, complementary antonymy, and converseantonymy. When we say two words are gradable antonyms, we usually mean pairs ofwords like good: bad, long: short, big: small. As the examples show, they are mainlyadjectives, which have three characteristics. First, the members of a pair differ in degree.Second, antonyms of this kind are graded against different norms. Thirdly, one memberof a pair, usually the term for the higher degree, serves as the cover term.Asymmetry is a common phenomenon of language. According to Collins EnglishDictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition, asymmetry means a lack or absenceof symmetry in spatial arrangements or in mathematical or logical relations. “Theuniverse is an asymmetrical entity. I am inclined to believe that life as it is manifested tous must be a function of the asymmetry of the universe or of the consequence of thisfact. The universe is asymmetrical; for if one placed the entire set of bodies thatcompose the solar system, each moving in its own way, before a mirror, the imageshown would not be superimposable on the reality.”, said Louis Pasteur (1994) after hediscovered that certain molecules exist in right-handed and left-handed orientations(based on the direction of rotation of plane polarized light). These forms cannot besuper-imposed on each other, that is to say, they cannot be converted to each other bysimple rotation. In daily life, we can see many things which are asymmetric. Thefollowing would tell us the asymmetry.
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1.2 Objectives
This thesis will first talk about some previous studies to make the currentdevelopment known clearly. There are many ideas about the definition and classificationof antonyms, but no one can be said the completely right or suitable. Although manylinguists have studied the asymmetric use of antonyms, none of them explained thephenomenon clearly. This thesis will use the theory of pragmatic theory, markednessiconicity and cognitive theory to analyze it. Specifically, the following questions will beanswered:
(a) What makes two words antonyms?
(b) Why do some words have antonyms while others have none? And why dosome words have more than one antonym?
(c) What are the phenomenons of asymmetric use of English gradableantonyms?
(d) What are the characteristics and causes of the asymmetric use of Englishgradable antonyms?
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Chapter Two Literature Review


2.1 The Cultural Perspective
Hu Zhuanglin (2013), in his book Linguistics, proposes that language is anessential and important part of a given culture and that the impact of culture upon agiven language is something intrinsic and indispensible. He (2013) says that language isan indispensible carrier of culture. Culture finds a better representation throughlanguage. In his book he says gradable antonymy is the commonest type of antonymy.Zhao Pingfen and Cao Weihong (2006) study the asymmetry use of gradable antonymsfrom the prospective of culture. They take “male and female” as an example. Peoplelike to use “male and female”, and seldom “female and male”. We can explain thereason from the perspective of culture. In history the male is dominate in society. Themale is in the upper class than the female. The female is just the accessory or privateproperty of the male. In ancient western countries, the daughter is lower than the son.Their freedom is controlled by his father. What’s more, the male can have more thanone wife. If one wife gives birth to a boy, she can have a higher position among thewives. Furthermore, they point out that when people give an evaluation, people trend touse the good words such as “tall”, “high”, “long”, “deep” and “big” to do a positiveevaluation; if giving a bad evaluation, people use “short”, “low” and “small” to de anegative evaluation.
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2.2 The Pragmatic Perspective
In the area of pragmatics, we know one of the most important theories is thePoliteness Principle. In every country politeness is the basic principle to be a citizen. Sowhen we talk with others, we trend to be polite. We like to use good words to describethings, even though it is not so good. Such as we say “the food is not delicious.”, insteadof “the food is bad.” We say “He did this job not so good. (这项工作他做的不好。)”,not say “He did a bad job.(这项工作他做得差。)” We say “She is neither beautiful norclear. (她不漂亮也不聪明。)”,not “She is ugly and fool. (她又丑又笨。)”Lou Ping (2007) uses the politeness theory to talk about the asymmetry ofantonyms. He points out that people would say someone is impolite instead of rude.And generally people wouldn’t use “not rude” to mean “polite”.In the chapter 4 of his principle of pragmatics, Leech (1983) introduces the theoryas follows:Minimize (all things being equal) the expression of impolite beliefs; maximize (allthings being equal) the expression of polite beliefs. He arises that the politenessprinciple contains the tact maxim, the generosity maxim, the approbation maxim, themodesty maxim and agreement maxim. All in all, because of politeness principle,people are willing to use positive phrases instead of the negative one. This is also a kindof euphemism. In our daily life we use positive word to protect other people’s face. Thisis what people expected. So we can hear that “how much does it cost”, “How tall areyou? (你有多高呢?)” and “how big is your house?(你房子多大呢?)”. On thecontrary, if some people say “how little does it cost”, “how short are you? (你有多矮呢?)” and “how small is your house? (你房子多小呢?)” , you can know hisexpectation. In these sentences, we can find some presets that are the implication.Therefore in our daily communication we had better use more positive words thannegative ones.
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Chapter Three Theoretical Foundation....10
3.1 Markedness Theory. ..... 10
3.2 Politeness Principle....... 10
3.3 Summary ..... 11
Chapter Four Characteristics and Causes of the Asymmetric Use ofEGA......13
4.1 Phenomenon of Asymmetric Use......... 13
4.1.1 Asymmetry of Semantic Ranges........ 13
4.1.2 Asymmetry of Word Order .... 16
4.1.3 Asymmetry of Frequency ...... 17
4.2 Semantic Characteristics of Gradable Antonyms...... 21
4.3 Cognitive Characteristics of Gradable Antonyms ..... 28
4.4 Causes .... 31
4.5 Summary ..... 36
Chapter Five Conclusion .....37
5.1 Main Findings ......... 37
5.2 Limitations and Suggestions for Further Study......... 38
5.3 Applications for English Teaching in China ......... 38


Chapter Four Characteristics and Causes of the AsymmetricUse of EGA


4.1 Phenomenon of Asymmetric Use
Semantic ranges are just as the semantic categories. No matter in Chinese or inEnglish a pair of antonyms has the different semantic filed, such as “你多大了呀?”“How old are you?”. From the two sentences, we can find Da (大 big) includes Da(大big) and Xiao(小 small) and “old” contains “old” and “young”. As for the first group, the meaning of “How tall is your son?” is the same to“what’s the height of your son”. The two sentences just ask for the height of the hearer’sson. They don’t have any presupposition. The word “tall” covers “tall” and “short”.“How short is your son” would make the hearer upset and even unhappy. The speakerthinks the hearer’s son is too short. The question is not for the height of the son, but forlaughing at the height. The sentence d, “My son is four feet tall”, responses to thequestion of 1a and 1c. In the sentence, “tall” is just the unit of height. According tothe Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English (New Edition), we can find the word“short” has more senses than “tall”, but here we just talk about the two words in thecategory of height. So from the above, we know “tall” has more meaning than “short” inthe category of height. The semantic ranges of the two words are asymmetric.


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Conclusion


Cruse (1986) and Lehrer (1982) have tried to identify the factors which affect thegoodness of a pair of antonym. These factors can also form the answer to what makestwo words antonyms.Scholars (such as Fischer, Miller, Charles, Justeson and Katz) view antonymy as akind of lexical association which is to some extent independent of meaning. They thinkthe reason why some words have no clear antonym is because they simply do notco-occur often enough with any semantically contrasting words for this lexicalassociation to develop and presumably the explanation for why some words have morethan one antonyms must be that these words frequently occur with more than onesemantically contrasting words. They think co-occurrence can explain all the questionsabout antonymy. The author finds that the formation of antonyms needs two conditionsat least: firstly the two words belong to the same semantic category; secondly, the twowords in a sense contrary.We have found the factors to form antonymy. As is mentioned above, theasymmetric use of gradable antonyms in English mainly falls into three categories: theasymmetry of semantic ranges, asymmetry of word order and asymmetry of frequency.The term old entails the meaning of old and young. We often use “how old are you?” tomean “what’s your age?”, rather than “how young are you?” .
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Reference (omitted)


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