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A Pragmatic Research of Responses to Criticism in Mandarin and Japanese
respond to criticism
In this study, we discuss the response to criticism in Mandarin and Japanese through a cross-language perspective. Criticism is a common speech act in a conversation. Due to the interactivity and high complexity of criticism, the existing research that study the criticism is still a minority, and the studies in response to criticism are even much fewer. Furthermore, most of the literature of response to criticism only discuss from the perspective of social status, so the research strategy in response to criticism is relatively rare. In the light of this, in addition to the discussion of the pragmatic strategies for response to criticism in Mandarin and Japanese, this study also included three factors: criticism subject, social status, and gender in order to examine the relationship between these factors and response strategies. Finally, a summary of the similarities and differences between Mandarin and Japanese will be displayed. In this research, there are two Discourse Completion Test Questionnaires. The "Questionnaire 1" is a prior research to explore the traits of the response to criticism from Mandarin Chinese and Japanese native speakers, and the "Questionnaires 2" is revised based on the result of "Questionnaires 1". The purpose of "Questionnaires 2" is to investigate how Mandarin Chinese and Japanese native speaker respond to criticism. Two questionnaires are implemented in an order, and the content of the two questionnaires are also closely related. The result shows that a response to a criticism can be divided into two different "Behavior Subjects", which are "Orientation to Other" and "Self-Orientation". Under the two categories, there are seven "Core Strategies" (apologize, admit, appreciate, commit, explain, ask, and request) and two "Subsidy Strategies" (respond and approve). The commonality of the response to a criticism in Mandarin and Japanese is that regardless of the social status of the hearer, they usually take "commit" as a response. On the other hand, the differences of the response to a criticism between Mandarin and Japanese can be observed in criticism subject and gender. First, when the criticism subject is "Skill Performance", Mandarin Chinese native speaker would take "commit" as a strategy to respond, while Japanese would prefer "request". Besides, when the criticism is "Inherent Characteristic", Mandarin Chinese native speaker would take "apologize" while Japanese would take "commit" as a strategy. Also, both male and female Chinese native speakers prefer "commit" as a response strategy to a criticism, while a male Japanese would take "apologize" and a female Japanese would take "commit". Finally, based on the results of this research, this study also reviews the two Mandarin Teaching materials most commonly used in Taiwan and analyzes the parts related to the response to criticism in the textbooks. Apart from the analysis, lesson plans combining language training with language awareness were designed according to the findings, hoping to contribute to the Mandarin Teaching of response to criticism.
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