语境对中文否定句型反语理解的影响

论文价格:300元/篇 论文用途:硕士毕业论文 Master Thesis 编辑:硕博论文网 点击次数:
论文字数:33263 论文编号:sb2021110615145039510 日期:2021-12-13 来源:硕博论文网
本文是一篇语言学论文,通过比较反应时间和解释否定结构的准确性:“X不是最…的(X不是最…)“在具有讽刺意味/字面偏见的语境中,本研究发现,母语为汉语的人在没有语境的情况下更字面地解释否定结构。

1   Introduction

1.1  Research Background
Figurative  language  is  widely  used  in  people’s  daily  life  for  different  purposes.  For different  psychological  motivations,  people  use  irony  to  achieve  complex  social communication  purposes,  or  to  criticize  others[1]错误!未找到引用源。,  or  to  attract  attention  for humorous  effect[2][3],  or  to  take  care  of  others’  faces  and  protect  the  addressee[2][4].  The research focus of linguistics on rhetorical language has changed from literature and rhetoric to cognitive psychology and neuroscience in the last century. Since 1960s, there has been a rapid growth in the research field of irony abroad, and domestic research has followed the pace. As Liu  stated  that  studying  the  interpretation  of  irony  is  not  only  helpful  to  reveal  the comprehending process of nonliteral utterances, but also helpful to explain the understanding process  between  irony  and  other  figurative  language[6].  Comprehension  of  the  interpretation process of figurative language is the manifestation of cognitive complexities[1]. 
Statements such as “She is not the most fascinating speaker around” could be interpreted as either ironically (She is boring) or literally (Others are more fascinating)[7]. Giora and her colleagues  tried  to  use  Graded  Salience  Hypothesis  and  nonliteral  default  interpretation  to illustrate  the  interpreting  mechanism  behind.  However,  the  priority  of  ironic  interpretation could  not  be  interpreted  by  any  existing  model  at  that  time.  Giora  therefore  proposed Defaultness  Hypothesis,  as  an  umbrella  theory  that  encompasses  both  Graded  Salience Hypothesis  and  the  view  of  default  nonliteral  interpretations  in  2015.  To  be  considered  a default,  an  interpretation  must  be  construed  unconditionally—initially  and directly—regardless  of  explicit  cueing,  including  explicit  contextual  information  to  the contrary. 
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1.2  Research Significance
This  research  aims  to  testify  the  applicability  of  Defaultness  Hypothesis  in  Chinese language  (to  examine  whether  people  would  interpret  a  negative  construction  as  ironic  by default), and to analyze the influence of context on the interpretation of negative construction.
In  this  study,  all  the  materials  are  presented  in  Chinese,  which  may  cause  different results from previous research on Defaultness Hypothesis as previous studies mainly focused on Hebrew and English. The three languages belong to different language families: Chinese belongs  to  Sino-Tibetan  language;  Hebrew  belongs  to  the  Semitic  language  family  of  the Asian-African  language  family;  English  belongs  to  Indo-European  language  family. Significant  difference  was  observed  between  different  language,  so  the  applicability  of Defaultness Hypothesis to Chinese is important. 
This  study  focuses  on  the  interpretation  of  Chinese  negative  constructions  and  the influence of context. Since there are few related studies in domestic irony research field, this study will shed light on negative construction interpretation in Chinese language.
This  study  aims  to  explore  the  influence  of  context  on  the  interpretation  of  negative constructions  embedded  in  a  certain  type  of  context  (literally  biasing  context  or  ironically biasing context), and its default interpretation of such kind of constructions. Another purpose of this study is to testify the applicability of Defaultness Hypothesis. Since there are always two sides of participants in a conversation: addressor and addressee. Addressors intend to pass their  intended  meanings  to  addressees  and  addressees  manage  to  cooperate  with  the addressors and interpret the implications of addressors.
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2 Literature Review

2.1 Irony and Context
Irony  and  context  are  the  two  major  concepts  in  this  study,  and  the  two  concepts  have been discussed for a long time in linguistic studies. This section introduces the development of the two concepts and related theories.
2.1.1 Irony and Irony Processing Models
Cognitive study of irony is drawing more and more attention from cognitive linguistics in  that  it  will  illuminate  the  comprehensive  process  and  cognitive  mechanism  of  nonliteral language[8].  Irony  is  a  special  device  of  using  language  creatively,  and  it  is  a  complex cognitive and psychological phenomenon. 
Merriam-Webster dictionary defines irony as: a) the use of words to express something other  than  and  especially  the  opposite  the  opposite  of  the  literal  meaning,  and  b)  a  usually humorous or sardonic literary style or form characterized by irony. Etymologically speaking, irony  is  derived  from  Greek  eironeia  “dissimulation,  assumed  ignorance”,  and  eiron “dissembler”,  perhaps  related  to  eirein  “to  speak”.  Irony  was  used  in  ancient  Greece  as affected ignorance, especially by Socrates, as a method of exposing an antagonist’s ignorance by pretending to modestly seek information or instruction from him. This original meaning of irony has always been the basic principle of irony theories[9]. 
Through the experiment, Pexman and Zvaigzne found that people are more willing to use irony  with  people  who  are  in  solidary  relationships  because  solidary  relationships  are  close, liking,  and  mutual  supportive[10].  It  is  noteworthy  that  with  the  rapid  development  speed  of network  communication,  most  of  the  real  time  communication  are  conducted  via  internet. Some people who do not  like to use irony in real life are more inclined to use irony online, causing a strong contrast of personality on and off the internet.
Toplak  and  Katz  concluded  that  the  behavior  of  using  ironies  is  often  perceived  as insincere,  impolite,  humorous,  mocking,  offensive,  aggressive,  anger-provoking, non-instructional,  unclear,  and  the  speaker  was  regarded  as  in  his  or  her  own  pleasure[11]. Zhang considered that literal criticism can cause more anger than ironic criticism, and irony criticism  alleviate  the  anxiety  of  listeners  to  some  extent  and  is  accepted  more  easily  than literal criticism错误!未找到引用源。. Irony is also broadly used in daily life and it is deeply loved by people  on  account  of  broadening  connotative  and  considerable  artistic  effect[12].  Some researchers argued that irony dilutes the condemnation and it is a face-saving strategy[4,13-14]. While Cao believed that irony enhances condemnation and increasing harm to others[5]. 
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2.2 The Influence of Context on Irony
In  the  studies  of  figurative  language,  context  is  critical  in  interpreting  the  intended meaning.  However,  researchers’  opinions  remain  controversial  on  the  influence  of  context. This section reviews previous works of the influence of context on irony, including the ironic construction and the interpretation of negative constructions.
2.2.1 Interpretation of Ironic Construction
Except for conventional and familiar irony, default ironic interpretations are not salient in mental lexicon. Graded Salience Hypothesis has received some criticism for taking such a static view of the  concept  of salience while assigning a very limited role to context. On the other hand, the influence of context on the interpretation of irony remains to be controversial. “Context  effects”  stressed  that  contextual  information  affects  final  interpretations,  and  that when  it  is  strong  enough,  it  results  in  appropriate  readings  quite  early  on.  Giora  provided  a summary that there was a disagreement as to whether
(1)  initial  processing  stages  are  influenced  by  context  so  that  only  the  congruent meanings, or context-compatible meanings are accessed; or whether
(2) context has no influence on the initial lexical processes and therefore could not filter the context-incompatible at the early stages[33]. 
Quite a lot of researchers believed that context plays a critical role in irony interpretation. Studies  have  been  made  from  different  aspects  of  context:  processing  strategies  of  the context[44],  occupation  of  speakers  in  context[26],  and  incongruency  between  context  and target[47].
Tab. 3.1   Latin Square Design of Experiment stimuli
Tab. 3.1   Latin Square Design of Experiment stimuli 
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3 Methodology ............................................... 20
3.1 Participants ............................................ 20
3.2 Materials ................................................... 20
3.3 Procedure ........................................... 24
4 Results .......................................... 27
4.1 Reaction Time and Accuracy ................................. 27
4.2 Analysis of the Interview ................................. 29
5 Discussion ...................................................... 32
5.1 The Influence of Context on the Ironic Interpretation of Negative Construction ......................... 32
5.1.1 Reaction Time ...................................... 32
5.1.2 Accuracy ............................................... 34

5 Discussion

5.1 The Influence of Context on the Ironic Interpretation of Negative Construction
According to the data analysis in previous chapter, unrelated probe was processed faster than  incongruent  probe,  and  than  congruent  probe  in  ironically/literally  biasing  contexts.  In addition,  unrelated  probe  was  reacted  more  correctly  than  incongruent  probe,  and  more correctly  than  congruent  probe.  Results  also  showed  that  for  Reaction  Time,  the  difference between  the  two  context  types  was  not  statistically  significant,  which  means  there  was  no speed  superiority  in  processing  in  the  two  different  biasing  contexts.  On  the  other  hand, context effect played a major role in accuracy.
5.1.1 Reaction Time
Participants  in  this  study  had  to  check  the  consistency  between  the  interpretation  of target  negative  construction  and  probe.  Judging  the  consistency  between  target  negative construction and probe is another form of lexical decision task: the first thing for participants is  to  comprehend  the  target  negative  constructions  in  contexts,  and  then  they  were  asked  to identify  the  correlation  between  the  randomly  presented  probe  and  the  interpretation  of  the target sentence. Because the meaning of unrelated probe was very different from the context and was totally irrelevant to the context and target sentence, it was the easiest for participants to  identify  it  had  no  connection  with  the  interpretation  of  target  sentence  at  all.  Congruent probe corresponds to the context-compatible interpretation, while the meaning of incongruent probe  is  opposite  to  the  meaning  of  congruent  probe.  In  literally  biasing  context,  congruent probe illustrates the literal meaning of the negative construction “X is not the most…”. On the contrary,  congruent  probe  illustrates  the  ironic  meaning  of  the  negative  construction  in ironically biasing context. Compared with congruent probe, unrelated probe and incongruent probe were much easier to be perceived and it cost much shorter time to judge the consistency, thus the Reaction Time of congruent probe is the longest. 
Fig 3.1   Schema of an experiment trial.
Fig 3.1   Schema of an experiment trial. 
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6 Conclusion

6.1 Major Findings
By comparing the Reaction Time and Accuracy of interpretating negative  construction: “X 不是最…的(X is not the most…)” in ironically/literally biasing contexts, the present study found that Chinese native speakers interpret the negative  construction without context more  literally.  Meanwhile,  based  on  the  results  of  post  experiment  interview,  participants could  also  feel  the  irony  behind.  Contexts  play  a  significant  role  in  interpretating  negative construction: people interpret it more ironically in ironically biasing contexts and interpret it more  literally  in  literally  biasing  contexts.  Though  the  interpretation  speed  of  negative construction did not show significant difference in the two biasing contexts.
Most Chinese native speakers tend to interpret the negative constructions without context more  literally,  while  some  participant  believed  that  they  could  perceive  the  irony  behind. Most  participants  choose  to  hold  a  modest  and  neutral  attitude  towards  the  subjects  of  the negative constructions because they think there’s always someone who is better, and there’s no need to criticize that person. 
It  should  be  noted  that  the  interpretation  of  negative  structure  is  scalar  because participant  rated  the  degree  of  irony  on  a  5-point  scale  (Giora’s  experiments  used  7-point scale). The average results did not reach the end of scale and they were biasing towards one end of the scale. Negative constructions indeed attenuate the positivity of adjective, but not as strongly as Defaultness Hypothesis suggested.
Giora’s  Defaultness  Hypothesis  stressed  that  the  default  interpretation  of  negative construction is ironic regardless of context, and this hypothesis is mainly studied in Hebrew. The present study centered on Chinese and it is concluded that Defaultness Hypothesis could not  explain  the  results  of  this  study  well  and  it  is  inadequate  to  explain  the  interpretation process  of  Chinese  native  speakers.  As  Chinese  and  Hebrew  share  different  cultural  values, the patterns people interpret language are influenced by the culture behind. 
reference(omitted)