Discourse analysis of chinese foochow undergraduates' language during casual conversation

Toh, Diana Kah Yien (2009) Discourse analysis of chinese foochow undergraduates' language during casual conversation. [E-LPTA] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

TThis ethnographic research investigates the Chinese Foochow undergraduates’ language during casual spoken discourse based on three research objectives: 1) the languages used by Chinese Foochow undergraduates during casual conversation, 2) the linguistic (structural) features found in Chinese Foochow undergraduates’ casual conversation and the reasons for such features 3) the particles that constitute Chinese Foochow undergraduates’ conversational style and the reasons for using them. The participants, who were self-selected among peers and friends, were three female Sarawak (Sibu) Foochows aged 23 and 24. Their L1 is Foochow and all three are current undergraduates of University of Malaysia Sarawak. This study draws on data drawn from four natural conversations where two instruments, namely taperecordings of conversation and participant observation are used. The results indicate that the Foochow speakers have extensive verbal repertoire as they can speak five languages and thus, have flexibility in their language choice. This consequently leads to code-switching phenomenon where all five languages are perused at certain levels, ranging from word to sentence level. The study reports four main factors that cause code-switching: 1) principle of economy, 2) effect of learning, 3) group membership and same social network indicator and 4) reiteration. The results too, show the use of repetitive structures which are specific to Mandarin. The rationale for the use of repetitive structures in such casual spoken discourse is to demonstrate a common identity. The results also reveal that the casual spoken discourse comprises of a large number of particles which are categorised into either Mandarin or Foochow. These particles are generally sentence- or clause-final and at occasion they are found at the mid of sentence or clause. They serve various communicative or pragmatic functions in the discourse. The study provides information for both laymen and linguists on how the Foochow speakers use language and their socio-cultural background to encode and decode meaning in their casual spoken discourse.

Item Type: E-LPTA
Additional Information: Project Report (B.Sc.) -- Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 2009.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Chinese language--Conversation and phasebooks, undergraduate, 2009, UNIMAS, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, IPTA, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Cognitive Sciences and Human Development
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 12 May 2015 00:39
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2016 03:07
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/6935

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