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Title: Yes-No Questions in Mandarin Chinese -- Between Form and Function
Authors: 陳欣薇
Chen, Hsin-wei
Contributors: 屈承熹

Chauncey C. Chu
Hue-Ying Yu

Chen, Hsin-wei
Keywords: 是非問句
Date: 2000
Issue Date: 2009-09-17 16:22:49 (UTC+8)
Abstract: 本論文旨在探討漢語是非問句形式與功能的對應關係。透過對現實生活中對話的研究發現,說話者依對所提問問題裡命題的確定程度高低,他會選擇四種不同類型的是非問句來表達。而這四種問句依確定程度低到高呈現了從正反問句、語助詞問句、附加問句、到直述問句的排列。另一方面,從句子的結構來看,依問句裡所含的句子種類和疑問詞和提問命題的距離綜合分析發現,問句所帶的疑問語氣從強到弱也呈現了從正反問句、語助詞問句、附加問句、到直述問句的排列。換句話說,當說話者對所提問問題裡的命題確定程度愈低,他選擇的問句所帶的疑問語氣愈強,反之亦然。這證明了語言的形式與功能間的確存在著恆常的對應關係。

The present thesis aims to explore the relationship between form and function by investigating four types of yes-no questions, namely A-not-A questions, Particle questions, Tag questions and Declarative questions, in Mandarin Chinese.
A scale is found in terms of the speaker’s certainty concerning the proposition being questioned about by examining real-life conversations. The speaker’s certainty is shown from low to high in an ascending order going from A-not-A questions, to Particle questions, to Tag questions and finally to Declarative questions. This scale is further supported by the result of a questionnaire survey designed to collect native speakers’ responses toward the four question types in different contexts.
Along with evidence from the sentence types involved and the distance between the interrogative device and the proposition, the interrogative force of the question types is shown in the reverse order of the speaker’s certainty scale. The question forms in terms of the distance between the interrogative device and the proposition can be integrated to the Proximity Principle, which states that the closer two linguistic entities are in meaning, the more they will exhibit temporal/ spatial proximity at the code level.
In pragmatic terms, when a speaker chooses the question type which carries higher interrogative force, he intends to show lower certainty concerning the assumption. This constant correlation between form and function of yes-no questions in Mandarin Chinese gives support to the view that the relationship between linguistic form and function is not arbitrary.
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Description: 碩士
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Data Type: thesis
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