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A Contrastive Analysis of the Speech Act of Advice on Chinese and English Internet Forums: A Case Study on Healthcare Subject
Lim, Man Yu
speech act of advice
Chinese-English contrastive analysis
The speech act of advice is a common interpersonal communication which has received recent emphasis in the study of pragmatics. In global information age, the speech act ofadvice within internet communication has become a research trend, but contrastive studies between Chinese and English are not adequate. This research focuses on contrasting the pragmatic strategies of Chinese and English in offering advice on internet forums, while exploring the influence of cultural values and internet forum context on the speech act of advice, providing a summary on combining internet technology and Chinese pragmatics to make easy for Chinese learners with an English background the recommended models for understanding. This research gathered language samples on healthcare topics from the “Mobile01” and “City-Data” internet forums, then analyzed head act and supportive act, internal modifications and sequences structure between Chinese and English. The results shows that participants in Chinese and English forums both utilized a variety of strategies and forms complex sequences structure when giving advice, but the two languages present different preferences on selected strategies and internal modifications. Overall, the speech act of advice in both Chinese and English are mainly composed of one or two head acts, Chinese tending to implement direct head acts, and English tending to used indirect head acts more often. Nevertheless, both Chinese and English most often began with head acts, with supportive act located in between the middle and end of the text. The high frequency of supportive act shows that it is a major means of strengthening the advisory effect. Moreover, advising in internet forums reflects the current language style. Overall, because the communication environment between internet users is largely equal, users tend to present direct advising act, but that cultural backgrounds has a large influence on internet communication is still evident. Lastly, in accordance with the results of studies, this research uses Google Classroom as an intermediately teaching tool to design an authentic internet forum lesson in order to guide students to perform appropriate advising based on Chinese and internet culture.
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