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The Analysis and Teaching Application of Modern Chinese Demonstratives
Deixis is a linguistic phenomenon that occurs on a daily basis. In the Chinese language, the most common demonstratives are “this” and “that.” Both are frequently used in its spoken and written forms. While common, these are also rather complex. Thus, this thesis seeks to examine and analyze this phenomenon with a multidimensional view in three main directions. First, a systematic investigation of the demonstratives “this” and “that” will be carried out, specifically looking at the grammatical characteristics, parts of speech classification, and other related grammatical structures—paying close attention to the relationship between the structural particle and the modifier. Furthermore, the demonstratives “this” and “that” are surveyed in terms of their situational and textual references to further understand their functional purposes. These include their purpose as a transition, providing cohesion in the written language, their gestural function and symbolic usage in the situational context, as well as their anaphoric and cataphoric functions in the written context. In the final portion, this thesis will explore the grammatical classifications of these demonstratives in terms of Chinese language instruction. Through inspecting the usages of “this” and “that” in three different sets of frequently used Chinese textbooks (both in Taiwan and in China), a comprehensive analysis of grammar pedagogy as well as common errors in teaching will be provided The main purpose of this thesis is to explore and bridge the gap between the basic theory of demonstratives and its application in terms of Chinese language teaching materials, ultimately with the goal of making it easier for language learners to use these terms naturally and with ease.
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