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Output file 1 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST GRADUATE STUDIES NGUYỄN THỊ HỒNG NHUNG A STUDY ON IMPLICATURE IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMES[.] 1 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY- HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST- GRADUATE STUDIES NGUYỄN THỊ HỒNG NHUNG A STUDY ON IMPLICATURE IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE FUNNY STORIES (Hàm ngôn truyện cười tiếng Anh tiếng Việt) M.A Minor Programme Thesis Field: English Linguistics Code: 60.22.15 Supervisor: M.A Đào Thu Trang HANOI-2010 VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY- HANOI UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES FACULTY OF POST- GRADUATE STUDIES NGUYỄN THỊ HỒNG NHUNG A STUDY ON IMPLICATURE IN ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE FUNNY STORIES (Hàm ngôn truyện cười tiếng Anh tiếng Việt) M.A Minor Programme Thesis Field: English Linguistics Code: 60.22.15 Supervisor: M.A Đào Thu Trang HANOI-2010 TABLE OF CONTENTS STATEMENT OF AUTHORSHIP……… i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS………………………………………………………… ii ABSTRACT………………………………………………………………………… iii LIST OF TABLE AND FIGURE………………………………………………… vi PART A: INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………… 1 Rationale………………………………………………………………………… Aims of the Study……………………………………………………………… Scope of the Study Method of the Study Organization of the Study PART B: DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 1.1 Overview of Discourse Analysis 1.1.1 Definition of Discourse 1.1.2 Discourse versus Text 1.1.3 Discourse Analysis 1.1.4 Context in Discourse Analysis 1.2 Word Meaning 1.3 Sentence Meaning 1.4 Utterance Meaning 1.5 Implicature 12 1.5.1 The Notion of Implicature 12 1.5.2 The Cooperative Principal and Maxims 13 The Maxim of Quantity 13 The Maxim of Quality 14 The Maxim of Relation 15 The Maxim of Manner 16 1.5.3 Non- Observance 16 1.6 Overview of Funny Stories 17 CHAPTER 2: THE STUDY 19 2.1 Research question 19 2.2 Data collection 19 2.3 Data Analysis 19 2.3.1 Maxim of Quantity 19 2.3.2 Maxim of Quality 24 2.3.3 Maxim of Relation 27 2.3.4 Maxim of Manner 30 2.4 Discussion 34 2.4.1 Result and Discussion of the Result……………………………………… 34 2.4.2 Similarities 35 2.4.3 Differences 35 PART C: CONCLUSION 37 Major Findings 37 Implications to Language Teaching and Learning 37 Limitation of the Study and Suggestions for Further Study 40 REFERENCES 42 APPENDICES…………………………………………………………………… I APPENDIX 1: ENGLISH FUNNY STORIES I APPENDIX 2: VIETNAMESE FUNNY STORIES V LIST OF TABLE AND FIGURE Table 1: Breaking maxims in English and Vietnamese funny stories……………………34 Figure 1: Breaking maxims in English and Vietnamese funny stories…… PART A: INTRODUCTION Rationale Language is one of the most important areas of human development It is the mechanism by which people communicate, and the means by which people convey their emotion However, in our day-to-day conversational exchanges, for some reasons, people not always directly express their ideas As Jenny Thomas states in her book “Meaning in Interaction” that speaker frequently means much more than their words actually say (Thomas 1995: 1) The hearer interprets a meaning that is not clearly stated in the utterance of the speaker Utterances, standing alone out of context, make us confused in our communication However, being put into the context, words and phrases can be interpreted in a way that makes people understand the intentional meaning of the utterances The reason is that we as speakers and hearers, according to the American philosopher- linguistics Paul Grice, operate under the cooperative principal, which means that both speaker and hearer converse with good intentions In other words, the speaker utters words and phrases in order to deliver a message to the hearer, who interprets a meaning with the knowledge that there is a message behind the utterance In order to show what goes on in conversation, Grice introduced four conversational maxims A speaker might fall to observe a maxim but still get the intended meaning through to the hearer Falling to observe a maxim is often referred to as “breaking a maxim” In funny story, these maxims are constantly broken to create humor Funny stories are a crucial part of every culture and every society From the past to now, it has been an entertaining form to make people feel cheerful and happy Sometimes, it can be used as a means of weapon to fight against the negative things in the society However, different types of humor are more appealing to different people based on their personal sense of humor and background And people from different countries have their own sense of humor, therefore understanding funny stories means that you have to uncover many things relating to their nations Sometimes we wonder why some unfinished and meaningless sentences can make people laugh To achieve this interpretation successfully, readers have to understand intended meaning from the characters and the authors Being a teacher of English as a foreign language, I strongly believe that the use of humor in funny story would significantly improve second language learning However, to understand the meaning of implicature in English funny story is a challenging task In order to create more interests in the English learning and build a deep understanding of inplicature 10 mechanism to English learners, the study on “Implicature in English and Vietnamese funny stories” is inspired and carried out Aims of the study The purposes of the research study could be clearly identified as followings: - To provide background knowledge of implicature - To uncover the implicature in terms of maxim conveyed in the English and Vietnamese funny stories under study - To point out implicature in some English and Vietnamese funny stories in terms of maxims - To draw out the implication in English language teaching and learning Scope of the study This research is limited to analyze implicature in some selected English and Vietnamese funny stories This research only touches a small aspect of implicature: maxim Within the scope of the study, no attention is paid to any other features of funny stories Method of the study The main method of the study is qualitative one executed with descriptive and contrastive analysis with the following techniques: + Collecting data containing funny stories with mechanism of implicature + Basing on the data collected, we sort out the samples into categories in terms of maxims + On the basis of the analysis of mechanism of implicatures in English and Vietnamese funny stories, we predict the difficulties that Vietnamese learners have to deal with Organization of the study The study consists of three parts They are: Part A: Introduction This part contains rationale, aims of the study, scope of the study, and methods of the study Part B: Development This is the main part of the thesis and has two chapters Chapter 1: Literature review 11 In this chapter, review on some field of semantics, pragmatics and discourse such are given in the first place Later part deals with concept of implicature and a brief background knowledge about funny stories Chapter 2: The study This part gives the detailed description of the study, which includes data collection, data analysis and presents the results and discussion Part C: Conclusion This is the last part of the thesis which summarizes the major points and gives the implication as well as giving suggestions for further study 12 PART B: DEVELOPMENT CHAPTER 1: THEORETICAL BACKGROUND 1.1 Overview of discourse analysis 1.1.1 Definition of discourse In the history of linguistics, different linguists use the term “discourse” in a number of different ways According to Crystal (1992: 25) discourse is “a continuous stretch of (especially spoken) language larger than a sentence, often constituting a coherent unit, such as a sermon, an argument, joke or narrative” Cook (1989: 156) shares the similar idea with Crystal, he states discourse as “stretches of language perceived to be meaningful, unified and purposive” Cook also suggests that “What matters is not its conformity to rules, but the fact that it communicates and is recognized by its receivers as coherent” Discourse is supposed to be meaningful and thus to be used to communicate with one person in a way that another person does not have the necessary knowledge to make sense of In Nunan‟s opinion, discourse is considered “communicative event involving language in context” (1993:118) In general, discourse is defined differently but they have something in common Discourse is understood as language in use, which can reflect people‟s point of view and value systems 1.1.2 Discourse versus text There has been a lot of confusion between the two terms discourse and text For some linguists, these two terms seem to be used almost interchangeably As Halliday & Hasan (1976: 2) state in their book “Cohesion in English” A text is a unit of language in use, it is not a grammatical unit, like a clause or a sentence… A text is best regarded as a semantic unit: a unit not of form but of meaning Thus it is related to a clause or sentence not by size but by realization, the coding of one symbolic system in another A text does not consist of sentences; it is realized by, or encoded in, sentences They use “text” to refer to “discourse” They see text as a “semantic unit” characterized by cohesion 13 Some other linguists draw a clear distinction between them They argue that discourse is language in action while a text is the written record of that interaction As Crystal‟s point of view, he states that discourse is “a continuous stretch of language larger than a sentence” whereas a text is “a piece of naturally occurring spoken, written or signed language identified for purpose of analysis” Nunan (1993: 6) appears to share the same view when he uses “the term text to refer to any written record of a communicative event in context” and discourse refers to “interpretation of the communicative event in context” To sum up, it can be see that there is disagreement about the meaning of these two terms However, all seem to agree that both text and discourse need to be defined in terms of meaning and the coherent texts/ pieces of discourse are those that form a meaningful whole 1.1.3 Discourse analysis Discourse analysis is developed by different works of different scholars One of the most prominent scholars is Yule (1997: 139), he states in his study of language that “In the study of language, some of the most interesting questions arise in connection with the way language is used, rather than what its components are…We were, in effect, asking how it is language –users interpret what other language-users intend to convey When we carry this investigation further and ask how it is that we, as language users, make sense of what we read in texts, understand what speakers mean despite what they say, recognize connected as opposed to jumbled or incoherent discourse, and successfully take part in that complex activity called conversation, we are undertaking what is known discourse analysis” It is understood that discourse analysis is concerned with the study of the relationship between language and the context in which it is used In summary, discourse analysis considers the ways that the use of language presents different views of the world and different understanding It examines how the use of language is influenced by relationships between participants, as well as its effect on social relations 1.1.4 Context in discourse analysis Context is an important concept in discourse analysis As Nunan (1993: 7) defines “context refers to the situation giving rise to the discourse, and within which the discourse is 16 The process realized by the verb: playing The interpersonal meaning is firstly to establish and maintain social relations, and secondly to influence people‟s behavior and get things done, and thirdly to express the speaker‟s feelings, attitudes and opinions The last is to express the speaker‟s attitudes or opinions towards, or assessment of, the representational content of sentence For example Good morning Establish social relationship Can you get me some water, please? Request What she said may be right Speaker‟s attitude Textual meaning is to create texts It helps to give texts coherence and cohesion 1.4 Utterance meaning Nguyen Hoa claims that an utterance is often regarded as any stretch of speech before which and after which there is a pause Utterance meaning is defined as what a speaker means when he makes an utterance in a certain situation In other words, utterance meaning is context-dependent and the meaning of an utterance is determined by the context in which it is used Austin presents two kinds of utterances: constative and performative utterance A constative utterance is a statement-making utterance What it does is to represent a state of affair or experience In contrast, a performative utterance is one that performs an act of doing something rather than saying It brings about a state of affairs such as bids, blessings, firings, arrests, complaints, marrying A performative utterance is neither true nor false For instance, I say “I apologize for my behavior”, it may be right or wrong for me to so because the utterance “I apologize” is used to perform rather than to describe an act 1.4.1 Related acts in producing an utterance When attempting to express themselves, people not only produce utterances containing grammatical structures and words, they perform actions via those utterances A: Would you like to go fishing tomorrow? B: My father will visit me, tomorrow In this conversation, A wants to invite B to go fishing, but B does not agree and he/she refuses A‟s invitation Both A and B‟s utterances are speech acts 17 John Austin in his book “How to things with words” is the first to introduce the idea of speech act According to Austin, actions performed via utterances are generally called speech acts, and on any occasion, the action performed by producing an utterance will consist of three related acts including locutionary act, illocutionary act and perlocutionary act Locution: The actual form of the utterance Illocution: The communicative force of the utterance Perlocution: The communicative effect of the utterance (Nguyen Hoa cited 2003: 228) This can be illustrated in this example Would you close the door, please? The surface form, and also the locutionary act, of this utterance is a question with a clear content (Close the door) The illocutionary act conveys a request from the part of the speaker and the perlocutionary act expresses the speaker‟s desire that the hearer should go and close the door Locutionary act It is understood that, “a locutionary act is basic act of utterance, or producing a meaningful linguistic expression” (Yule, 1996: 48) To perform a locutionary act is to produce an utterance with a particular form and a more or less determinate meaning according to the rules of a given language If you have difficulty with actually forming the sounds and words to create a meaningful utterance in a language, then you might fail to produce a locutionary act Austin analyses the locutionary act into three sub-types Phonetic act is the act of producing an utterance in the phonetic medium of sound Phatic act is the act constructing a particular sentences in particular language Rhetic act is the act contextualizing a sentence Illocutionary act Illocutionary act is considered the core of the theory of speech acts An illocutionary act is the action performed by the speaker in producing a given utterance The illocutionary act is closely connected with speaker‟s intentions, for instance, stating, questioning, promising, requesting, giving commands and so on As Yule (1996: 48) claims, the illocutionary act is performed via the communicative force of an utterance which is also 18 generally known as illocutionary force of the utterance Basically, the illocutionary act indicates how the whole utterance is to be taken in the conversation The illocutionary act is communicatively successful only if the speaker‟s illocutionary intention is recognized by the hearer These intentions are essentially communicative because the fulfillment of illocutionary intentions consists in hearer‟s understanding However, there are cases when the hearer fails to recognize the speaker‟s intentions and he therefore wrongly interprets the speaker‟s utterance This misunderstanding may lead to funny situations and hence it is often unfailing source for various jokes Perlocutionary act Perlocutionary act, Austin‟s last element in the three-fold definition of speech acts, is performed with the intention of producing a further effect on the hearer Sometimes it may seem that perlocutionary act does not differ from illocutionary act very much For example, “Would you close the door?” Considered merely as an illocutionary act (a request in this case), the act is successful if the hearer recognizes that he should close the door, but as a perlocutionary act it succeeds only if he actually closes it 1.4.2 Types of speech act Austin’s classifications According to Austin, speech acts are classified into five types Verdictives are typified by the giving of a verdict by a jury, umpire, arbitrator such as acquit, grade, estimate, diagnose Exercitives are the exercising of powers, rights, or influence such as appoint, order, advise, and warn Commisives commit the speaker to something but also include declarations or announcements of intention such as promise, guarantee, bet, oppose Behabitives concern with attitude and social behaviour such as apologies, criticize, bless, challenge Expositives clarify how utterances fit into ongoing discourse, or how they are being used argue, postulate, affirm, concede Searl’ s classifications Searl also divides speech act into five types as follow Commissives are those kinds of speech acts that commit the speaker to doing something in the future, such as a promise, or a threat Directives are those kinds of speech acts that have the function of getting the listener to something, such as a suggestion, a request, or a command Declaratives are 19 those speech acts that change the states of affairs in the world Expressives are those speech acts in which the speaker expresses feelings and attitudes about something, such as an apology, a complaint, to thank someone, to congratulate someone Representative are those speech acts which describe states or events in the world, such as an assertion, a claim, or a report Speech act classified in accordance with the correspondence between structure and function of the utterance In the discussion of speech act, Yule (1996: 55) states “whenever there is a direct relationship between a structure and a function, we have a direct speech act Whenever there is an indirect relationship between a structure and a function, we have an indirect speech act” In English, there are three structural forms (declarative, interrogative, and imperative) and the three general communicative functions (statement, question, command/ request) Thus, a declarative used to make a statement is a direct speech act, but a declarative used to make a request is an indirect speech act When someone utters “Could you move over a bit?” The speaker does not expect hearer to answer these questions with “Yes or Yes, I could” The function of this utterance is a request, or in other word speaker asks the hearer to move over a bit Different structures can be used to accomplish the same basic function, as the following example a) Move out of the way b) Do you have to stand in front of the TV? c) You are standing in front of the TV d) You’d make a better door than a window The basic function of all the above utterances is a command/ request that the speaker wants the addressee not to stand in front of the TV However, only the imperative structure in (a) represents a direct speech act The interrogative structure in (b) is not being used only as a question, hence it is an indirect speech act The declarative structure in (c) and (d) are also indirect requests 1.5 Implicature 1.5.1 The notion of implicature The term “implicature” is used by Grice to account for what a speaker can imply, suggest or mean, as distinct from what the speaker literally says In other words, the notion 20 of implicature rests upon a distinction between what is actually said and what is implied in saying what is said Consider the following example Yule (1996: 43) Rick: Hey!, coming to the wild party tonight? Tom: My parents are visiting In order to make Tom‟s response relevant, Rick has to draw on some assumed knowledge that one college student in this setting expects another to have Tom will be spending that evening with his parents, and time spent with parents is quiet So, Tom implicates that tonight he will be busy and he cannot go to the party Grice discussed two different types of implicatures, including the conventional and the conversational The conventional implicature has the same implication no matter what the context is It means that it does not have to occur in conversation, and they not depend on special contexts for their interpretation For example: Even John came to the party When “even” is included in any sentence describing an event, it means “contrary to expectation” Conversational implicature, on the other hand, is generated directly by the speaker depending on the context The same expressed meaning can have different implications on different occasions For example A: Am I in time for supper? B: I’ve cleared the table Speaker B‟s implication is that speaker A is late for dinner because as usual, after meal, we clear and tidy the table 1.5.2 The cooperative principal and maxims In order to explain how hearers interpret the utterance implicature, Grice introduced the cooperative implicature (CP) The CP runs like this Make your conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged Or be helpful 21 (Kearns cited, 2000: 255) According to the cooperative principle both speaker and hearer converse with the willingness to deliver and interpret a message The speaker and hearer cooperate and that is why they communicate efficiently In order to illustrate how we interpret, Grice presented four conversational maxims, to show how we communicate effectively in the light of rules The maxim of quantity Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange) Do not make your contribution more informative than is required The maxim of quantity requires the speaker to give the right amount of information when he/she speaks, which means not to be too brief or to give more information than the situation requires During a conversation, the quantity maxim is often violated in directions, creating prolixity if we say too much and terseness if we are too brief Woman to a friend: “We haven’t reached an agreement yet- I’d like a Bermuda honeymoon, and he doesn’t want a wedding” The woman violated the maxim of quantity because she provided more information than necessary This led to humor, she mentioned “a Bermuda honeymoon”, but, as a matter of fact, her boy friend did not want a wedding at all Consider another example; A farmer gave two city fellows permission to hunt on his land, asking only a small favour in return “You’ll find a still up yonder”, he said “I’d like you to bring me a jugful or two” The hunter located the still easily enough, but as they approached, bullets started whizzing past their ears They fled down the hill and found the farmer “Your still is being raided”, they gasped “Oh, that’s probably the old man Turner” the farmer said “Who’s he “the hunter wanted to know “My neighbour” the farmer replied “He owns the still” In this example, the farmer violated the principle of quantity because he just gave the information on the existence of the still However, the person was actually not as informative as required, and as a result, caused misunderstanding on the part of his listeners 22 The maxim of quality Try to make your contribution one that is true Do not say what you believe to be false Do not say that for which you lack evidence The maxim of quality is a matter of giving the right information The speaker says nothing that he/she knows to be false or for which he/she lacks sufficient evidence The other maxims are dependent on this maxim, if a speaker does not convey the truth then the utterance is false, event if the right information is given or the speaker is clear and orderly when speaking Consider the following Vietnamese funny story “Thầy bói xem voi” Nhân buổi ế hàng, năm ơng thầy bói mù chuyện ngẫu với Thầy phàn nàn khơng biết hình thù voi Chợt nghe người ta nói có voi qua, năm người chung tiền biểu người quản tượng xin cho voi đứng lại để xem.Thầy sờ vòi, thầy sờ ngà, thầy sờ tai, thầy sờ chân, thầy sờ Ðoạn năm thầy ngồi lại bàn tán với Thầy sờ vòi bảo: - Tưởng voi nào, hóa dài đỉa! Thầy sờ ngà bảo: - Khơng phải, cứng địn càn chứ! Thầy sờ tai bảo: - Ðâu có! Nó to bè bè quạt thôi! Thầy sờ chân cãi lại: - Ai bảo? Nó sừng sững cột nhà! Thầy sờ lại nói: - Các thầy nói khơng Chính tua tủa chổi xể cùn Năm thầy, thầy cho nói đúng, khơng chịu ai, thành xô xát, đánh toạt đầu, chảy máu These blind fortunetellers violated the maxim of quality because they said the things that lacked evidence Each person gave one definition of elephant The person who touched elephant‟s heliotrope said that “elephant looks like a leech” But another who touched elephant‟s tusk said “the elephant looks like a lever” The blind fortuneteller who touched elephant‟s ear said “ it looks like a paper fan”, etc Each blind fortuneteller created different 23 images of elephant because they lacked evidence, they only touched a part of elephant As a result, they agued and fought each other, that caused humor The maxim of relation Be relevant The maxim of relevant requires the speaker to be relevant to the context and situation in which the utterance occurs A: I am out of petrol B: There is a garage round the corner In this exchange, Grice suggests that B would be violating the maxim “Be relevant” The implicature, derived from the assumption that speaker B is adhering to the cooperative principal, is that the garage is not only round the corner, but also will be open and selling petrol In order to understand implicature, we have to know certain facts about the world It is that garages sell petrol and that round the corner is not a great distance away A‟s utterance not only is a description of a particular state of affairs, but also as a request for help, for instance The maxim of manner Avoid obscurity of expression Avoid ambiguity Be brief Be orderly The maxim of manner is a matter of being clear and orderly when conversing The speaker describes things in the order in which they occur and avoid ambiguity and obscurity Consider the following example: The plane took off to the west and taxied down the runway This may confuse people as to what actually happened, so the requirement of being orderly is not carried out In fact, when describing things, we should make them in a good order in which they really occurred The above example should be changed into “The plane taxied down the runway and took off to the west” In summary, what can be derived from the cooperative principal is the fact that maxims should be theoretical involved in every conversation However, in everyday communication, the conversational situation is not always ideal and that is why the maxims ... word combines lexical and grammatical meanings The grammatical meaning can be defined as an expression in speech of relationships between words based on contrastive features of arrangement in which... lexical meaning is the individual meaning that each word has in the system of language In terms of component, lexical meaning is classified into denotative and connotative meaning Denotative meaning... interpersonal meaning is firstly to establish and maintain social relations, and secondly to influence people‟s behavior and get things done, and thirdly to express the speaker‟s feelings, attitudes and
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