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A Study on Choices of Bridging Reference from the Perspective of Cross-cultural Communication

Author: ZhenFeng
Tutor: WangDan
School: Northeast Forestry University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: Cross-cultural Communication the Choices of Bridging Reference Relevance Adaptation Theory Context
CLC: H313
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 2
Quote: 0
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Bridging is one of the language phenomena that most frequently occur in verbal communication. The term "bridging" was first proposed by the psycholinguist Herb Clark in1977, referred to the relationship between a bridging expression and its intended referent not explicitly expressed in context, but can be inferred via the addition of contextual assumptions. Since then a great amount of work has been done on bridging reference in the past36years. Scholars and experts have studied this field from all kinds of perspectives and obtained substantial and fruitful results. In recent years, there are also some active research on reference assignment and bridging reference in China.Bridging reference, which permeates verbal communication, is used to describe the process by which the existence of a referent which has not itself been explicitly mentioned is inferred from something that is explicitly mentioned. As a semantic concept, bridging reference has been extensively researched in literature and significant insights have been gained through various approaches. However, the previous studies tend to be confined to interpretation from the hearers and pay less attention to the speakers. Taking Relevance Theory proposed by Sperber&Wilson as the theoretic framework and with the help of the Adaptation Theory from Verschueren, the thesis will concentrate on the choices of bridging reference from the perspective of speakers under the circumstance of intercultural communication, intending to bring some help to the communicating effect in the cross-cultural context.The thesis is started with a brief introduction to previous studies of bridging reference both at home and abroad, including the research background and present situation. This thesis, benefiting a lot from some of the current relevant findings and approaches, tries to give a detailed explanation of the phenomenon of bridging reference based on Relevance Theory of Sperber&Wilson and Adaptation Theory of Verschueren from the perspective of cross-cultural communication. In order to make up for the fact that all the analyses of bridging reference are qualitative analyses and the percentage of quantitative analyses is relatively small, the author has made a systematic case study with the data from two questionnaires, aiming at making a further and clear analysis of the validity, acceptability and appropriateness of discourses and deciding the factors that influence the choices and interpretation of bridging reference. The ultimate goal is, through a profound analysis and comparison of the experimental results from two questionnaires, to develop the universal significance of Relevance Theory and Adaptation Theory, to explore the factors that influence the choices of bridging references during the process of constructing utterance in cross-cultural communication, and to probe the choosing mechanism and the communicating strategies in order to maximize the communicating effect. This thesis, with the help of Relevance Theory and Adaptation Theory, based on research findings from previous studies, from the perspective of cross-cultural communication, concentrates on the choices of bridging references from the speakers. All the examples of this research given are under strict consideration and previous inspection. At the same time, the research results can provide clues to further research and have practical implications to various related fields, not only in cross-cultural communication, but also in foreign language teaching and so on.

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CLC: > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Semantics,vocabulary,semantic
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