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A Contrastive Analysis of "Ye" in Mandarin Chinese and Its Counterparts in Japanese with Pedagogical Amplications
prompting auxiliary “も（mo）
contrastive analysis of Chinese and Japanese contrast
In modern mandarin Chinese, adverb “ye” is used fairly frequently. “Ye” corresponds partly to the prompting auxiliary “mo” in Japanese. For example, in sentences like “我也去”, “ye” can be directly translated into “mo” and they both occur in the same syntactic place. However, as “ye” can not be translated into “mo” in sentences like “這張畫也還拿得出去”, Japanese students often make errors. With the metafunction proposed by Halliday(1985, 1994, 2004) as its main framework and through literature review, this paper tries to uncover the core function of “ye”. And by establishing a Chinese-Japanese corpus, this paper also discusses “ye” from three different levels, including semantic, discourse and pragmatic level. Then, a contrastive analysis is made so as to find the counterpart of “ye” in Japanese. From literature review, it’s known that the core semantic meaning of “ye” is “likeness within difference”, denoting inherently an assembly of at least two elements in the same category. From the core semantic meaning, it is further deduced that “ye” encompasses four different logic-semantic relations, including “similar addition”, “contrary addition”, “extreme addition”, and “entire addition.” Analysis of the Chinese-Japanese corpus shows that “similar addition” is the most frequently used one, indicating it as the fundamental type of “ye.” In terms of discourse level, the scope of “ye” ranges from a phrase to a paragraph, even beyond a sentence, shared by the two parties in a dialogue. This is all related to the core concept of “ye.” As “ye” itself is a concept of assembly and a focus-sensitive operator at the same time, the elements referred to are thus contrastive. In addition, pragmatically, “ye” functions against the speaker’s anticipation, thus creating a drop of tone. From the Q-principle and R-principle by Horn(1984), it is through the difference between anticipation value and fact value that the effect of irony or euphemism is carried out. Through comparison, it is found that more than half of the Chinese “ye” correspond to “mo” in Japanese. As a prompting auxiliary, the function of “mo” is to render a certain element more conspicuous and create contrast, resembling “ye” a lot in the discourse level. Pragmatically, “mo” also signifies “unexpectedly” but not “to euphemize/to adore .” Lastly, this study analyzes current teaching materials for Japanese students and applies the findings of this paper to teaching material design and instructional sequence so as to facilitate both teachers and students.
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