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Title: Speech acts across cultures : evaluations and refusals in Korean and Chinese
Author: Chen, Xi
ISNI:       0000 0004 7431 2082
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis investigates speech act performance and the factors affecting the performance across three groups: Korean native speakers (KNS), Chinese native speakers (CNS) and Chinese learners of Korean (CLK). The speech acts investigated are evaluations and refusals. The factors involved in the investigation are perceptions of social power, social distance and the degree of imposition (P, D, I) as well as learners' metapragmatic awareness. This thesis discusses if there exists cross-group differences in terms of speech act performance and P, D, I perceptions. More importantly, it investigates the influence that the perceptual and metapragmatic factors have on performance. The data is collected via written questionnaires. The data analysis is carried out within and across different groups. The findings show that KNS, CNS and CLK have different preferences of functional components and semantic strategies in the performance of evaluations and refusals. Different speech acts are affected by different factors. For example, evaluation speech acts are more likely to be influenced by social distance while refusal speech acts are more likely to be influenced by social power. The factors also exert different influence on different groups. For example, the variable of social distance has reversed influence on KNS' and CNS' evaluations. CLK's performance is not only influenced by their perceptions of P, D, I, but also has various metapragmatic reasons. The current findings indicate the importance of having perceptual data for speech act studies. The perceptual data provides more explicit and precise explanations for speech act performance compared to pre-assumed P, D, I or the patterns of learners' language use.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral