中文的自我貶抑:從網路論壇探討 Self-deprecation in Mandarin Chinese: Evidence from Online Forums

Date
2016
Authors
陳薰磬
Chen, Hsun-Ching
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Abstract
在華人文化的人際互動中,自我貶抑為常見的禮貌策略之一,藉以展現說話者的謙遜態度。然而,過去與禮貌相關的研究大多試圖提出足以解釋華人社會禮貌之理論,鮮少深入檢視自我貶抑在禮貌實踐中的角色與功能。因此,透過網路論壇中的語料,本研究旨在探討臺灣的中文母語者如何藉由自我貶抑營造人際間的和諧關係。四十篇含有作者照片的分享示範文章(information-sharing and demonstration-giving articles)收集自批踢踢實業坊(PTT)中的美妝板(MakeUp)與網購板(e-shopping),挑選出文中所有具自我貶抑意涵的措辭並加以分析。 本研究的分析主要分為三個面向:自我貶抑的主題(topics)、語言形式(linguistic features)、及語境(contexts)。結果顯示,分享示範文章的作者貶抑自我的外貌、能力、個性、與環境。美妝及穿搭的文章性質使得讀者特別重視作者外貌和能力,作者的自我貶抑能預防讀者的質疑,甚至引導讀者回以讚揚,因此外貌和能力的貶抑頻率尤高。自我貶抑的語言形式包含否定詞(negatives)、增強詞(intensifiers)、減弱詞(downtoners)和語言創造性(linguistic creativity)。否定詞、增強詞、與語言創造性能強化作者的自我貶抑,其中否定詞的使用隱含作者認為自身並未符合該角色的理想標準。而減弱詞協助淡化自我貶抑,避免作者失去太多面子(face),影響文章可信度。自我貶抑出現的語境則多為文章中的離題(digression)部分,於看似與主旨無關的分享中揭露更多作者的隱私與弱點,與其自我貶抑緊密連結。自誇(self-praise)雖不多見,偶爾也用以回復作者自我及文章的價值,並與減弱詞或自我貶抑合併,以免直接威脅讀者面子而違反禮貌原則。最後,讀者對於文章正向且充滿誇讚的回應(complimentary response)顯示出作者自我貶抑策略之成功。
Self-deprecation is a prominent but scarcely explored politeness strategy that can be commonly observed in Chinese social encounters. By examining online discourse, this study aimed to investigate how Mandarin Chinese speakers in Taiwan achieve the desired interpersonal harmony through the use of self-deprecation. Forty information-sharing and demonstration-giving articles (IDAs) were collected from two popular boards of PTT—MakeUp and e-shopping. All of the articles in the database were selected randomly under the category of xinde ‘reflection’ and contained the writers’ selfies. The text in every chosen IDA was carefully read through so as to recognize self-deprecating expressions. The identified self-deprecating expressions were analyzed in terms of their (1) topics, (2) linguistics features, and (3) contexts. Considering the topics, four types of self-deprecation were discovered, including appearance, ability, personality, and surroundings. The results showed that the authors deprecate themselves much more often in the aspects of appearance and ability, the attributes more relevant to the essence of makeup- and clothing-related IDAs, in order to eliminate possible threats which may undermine their credibility and to trigger more beneficial positive evaluation in return. In terms of linguistic features, negatives, intensifiers, downtoners, and linguistic creativity are the major devices employed in the self-deprecating expressions. Negatives, intensifiers, and linguistic creativity display the writers’ sincerity with a straightforward attitude and highlighting effects; the use of negation particularly suggests the authors’ awareness of the standards they have failed to achieve. Hedges, on the other hand, tone down the self-deprecation and help maintain the writers’ face. As for the contexts, self-deprecating expressions were usually found within digression, where more personal information and weaknesses of the writers are disclosed. Self-praise is used to restore the credibility of IDAs and usually followed by hedges or self-deprecation to lessen its face-threatening effect. The complimentary response given by most readers shows that the authors’ self-deprecating behavior has been noticed and nicely taken. The findings indicated that through self-deprecation, individuals can live up to the Chinese social norms to stay modest, fish for compliments to be praised by others, and even express an additional sense of humor.
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Keywords
自我貶抑, 中文禮貌, 網路論壇, 言談分析, self-deprecation, Chinese politeness, online forums, discourse analysis
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