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A Discourse and Pragmatic Analysis of the Conjunction Wulun in Chinese and its Pedagogical Implications
Chen, Jyun Gwang
Liao, Yi Chun
Being one of the common grammatical points of Chinese, conjunction Wunlun had appeared in many reseaches and documents. Those reseach and documents focus on part of speech, structural relation between the two clauses, and it’s pragmatic functions. Most of them are independent research, therefore the information is scattered and unorganized. And seldom of them mention about the discourse system of wulun. Therefore, this study is based on the theoretical framework of Halliday’s metafunctions of language, encompassing ideational, texual, and interpersonal functions （Halliday, 1985） in order to analyze the function of conjunction wunlun at both discourse and semantic aspects. Furthermore, it is hoped that the final result of the study can be applied to the teaching material of modern days. With regard to the cohesion at the complex sentence formed level, wulun can serve as either an intra-sentential or inter-sentential connector, the first occur when wulun appears in front of the predicate and behind the subject. On the other hand, the latter appears in front of the subject and the predicate. The result indicates that when wunlun turns out to be an intra-srntential connector, it provides a smaller discourse scope, producing an end focus. Whereas when wunlun shows up as an inter-sentencial connector, it gives a widen discourse scope and produce a contrastive focus. At the discourse level, the conjunction wulun can be distributed in to “postposed explicit main clause” and “preposed explicit main clause”. The former one, which appears after a wunlun clause, is the unmarked sentence pattern of wulun and is commonly used in passages or articles. As for the latter one, it appears in front of the wulun clause, which is seldom used in passages or articles, was taken as a marked sentence pattern. Since wunlun serves as a conjunction which indicates “unconditionality”, therefore, the elements behind wunlun are normally the condition that had been denied, those conditions are usually the information which is knowned by both listeners and speakers. Therefore, it can only serve as a sentence that provides background information instead of foreground information, which is mostly the position that provides new information and main foucus of the sentence.
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