Korea, sandwiched between Japan and Northeast China, has a population of 51 million people North Korea has 25 million. Traditional Korean principles, heavily influenced by Confucianism, still permeate modern life. As a result, group harmony, respect, and family are the center of importance in the culture. The Korean language used to be written with traditional Chinese symbols, but was slowly replaced by a phonetic system of writing in the 19 th and 20 th centuries.
Korean is thus the easiest language of these three to learn how to read and write, for which learners of the language will be grateful! Japan has million people as of , a number which actually decreased by a million since last year. The culture is governed by Shinto principles, a spirituality which embraces the idea that everything in nature has a kami , or a god. Consequently, the turning of the seasons is cherished, along with environmental preservation.
The Japanese writing system has three different sets of characters. The first is Kanji, or Chinese symbols used to represent nouns.
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Kanji is useful for discriminating between homophones words that sound the same with different meaning , which can happen often in Japanese. This is pretty convenient, since Japanese and Chinese speakers can often often communicate in written form through Kanji. The other two systems are thankfully phonetic: Hirajana is used for grammatical purposes, and Katakana, which is used to form newer, imported words from English and other languages.
Since both the latter systems are phonetic, they are often used to replace the Kanji symbols for nouns when the writer forgets it. The pronunciation of Japanese is relatively easy for English speakers, as it has the same vowels a, e, i, o, u as European languages like Spanish. It is not a tonal language, except for the fact that some meanings of words are different depending on whether they are pronounced with a high or a low tone, but this is not as common as in Mandarin, which is essentially every word. Log In Sign Up. John C Wakefield.
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As a result, many of the speaker-oriented discourse meanings that are expressed through intonation in languages such as English are expressed in the form of sentence-final particles SFPs in Cantonese. Although this is widely known and accepted by linguists, apparently no study to date has made a systematic attempt to discover whether any of the more than 30 Cantonese SFPs have English intonational equivalents, and if so, what those equivalents are.
To work towards filling this research gap, this study examines the English intonational equivalents of four Cantonese SFPs that divide into the following two pairs: particles of obviousness: lo1 and aa1maa3; question particles: me1 and aa4. The findings of this study have far reaching implications regarding the descriptions and classifications of intonation, as well as regarding the classifications of the various forms of suprasegmentals.
This research has arguably provided the strongest and clearest evidence to date regarding the forms and meanings of the particular forms of English intonation with which it deals. Whether this fills their hearts with pride or regret, only they know. Their names and actions are listed here in order of appearance.
Rather than tying me to the sofa facing the TV, my parents took the time and made the effort to ensure that I felt loved. This instilled in me enough self confidence to believe that I can accomplish just about anything if I try hard enough. They also gave me the best education they could afford. My wife, Mona, and daughter, Angie, were beyond understanding.
They went out of their way to let me know it was okay to ignore them on weekends and holidays. I dedicate this thesis to them, knowing that doing so falls far short of making up for their support. I thank Cliff Goddard for designing the fascinating and insightful course Cross Cultural Communication, which I took as an MA student and which introduced me to the Natural Semantic Metalanguage, contributing to this thesis in an obvious way.
When I met Cliff in person at a conference in Sydney, I discovered that his enthusiasm as a linguist is contagious and that he has one of those rare demeanors that are so pleasant, down-to-earth, and approachable, that he actually succeeds at making students believe there is no such thing as a stupid question or comment. Cliff also gave excellent, detailed comments on my thesis in his role as one of my examiners, particularly regarding the wording and format of the NSM explications. Liliane Haegeman and Nick Reid both deserve special thanks for believing in me enough to write letters of recommendation for me, which was one of the important factors that helped me get my Ph.
Nick was an enthusiastic and inspirational teacher. I am indebted to Stephen Matthews and Virginia Yip, who were kind enough to talk to me in detail about my options for doing a doctorate in Hong Kong.
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They gave me excellent advice and introduced me to Robert Bauer, who suggested I apply for a Ph. I additionally thank Virginia for her helpful, detailed comments on my thesis in her role as one of my examiners. I thank my supervisor, Sze-Wing Tang, who one day casually suggested it might be interesting to see how the meanings of sentence-final particles are expressed in English. In addition to sparking the idea that got this research going, he of course gave me a great deal of help with my numerous questions about sentence-final particles.
He also has an excellent eye for detail, helping me end up with a more polished final draft than I would have had without his help. My co-supervisor, Dingxu Shi, also gave invaluable input, teaching me much, and offering advice that kept me on the right track. His ability to immediately understand my questions and instantly offer relevant feedback and suggestions never failed to impress me.
Not only did he make me copies of the audio corpus and annotated text files, he along with Angel Chan, who I also thank took the time to show me how to use the concordance to search for tokens of the SFPs. It would have been extremely difficult to carry out this study without these tools. Audrey Li may not remember because it probably seemed like a small thing to her, but she deserves special thanks for giving me useful advice regarding my topic at a critical point in my research.
Without that, I would have gone off in the wrong direction all together and fallen into a sinkhole. Severin Hornung got my mind going again with large quantities of coffee and stimulating discussions about the sad state of the world. Danny Fung, a close and devoted friend, told me entertaining stories and relentlessly debated nonsense with me in a highly enjoyable fashion. I am truly grateful to these three men for providing me with well needed diversions from the floating tones that have been fluttering around in my cranium over the past few years.
Daniel Hirst deserves a huge thank you for the comments he gave me, and especially for boosting my confidence with positive and useful feedback about my research. Jock Wong gave helpful comments on my explications, for which I am very grateful. Joanna Sio helpfully and patiently answered numerous questions of mine.
Lian Hee Wee asked some critical questions that were very helpful in forcing me to clarify some of my arguments. I am truly indebted to the native-bilingual informants, without whom this research would never have been possible. I wish to thank my fellow research students for being so pleasant to work beside and for providing fruitful discussions, especially Qingwen Zhang. I hope they are not disappointed by what follows. I am of course the owner of any mistakes discovered by attentive readers—nobody mentioned above is to blame.
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It is therefore surprising that, to my knowledge, no attempt has ever been made to systematically discover the English intonational counterparts of SFPs, and only one attempt has ever been made to discover the Mandarin equivalents of English intonation Chao, This study is an attempt to begin filling this research gap, and, just as importantly, to propose a methodology that can serve as a tool for conducting further research of this kind in the future.
Significant advances have been made in the study of the syntax and semantics of SFPs see chapters 2 and 7. The exact nature of the syntax and semantics of English intonation is relatively more complicated and therefore more controversial see chapters 3 and 7.
Intonational forms are more abstract than are the forms of their segmental SFP counterparts, so there is a lack of consensus regarding the forms and meanings of discourse-related intonation, and even less agreement regarding its syntax. This study attempts to advance our current knowledge of the syntax and semantics of SFPs and English discourse intonation by doing the following: 1 proposing semantic explications i. This study translates connotative meaning from one language to another in order to compare forms.
It makes sense to start such research with a language that uses SFPs for this purpose to perhaps a greater extent than any other, and to contrast it with a language whose intonation is relatively well studied so that linguists can more readily scrutinize the results against any prior claims that have been made.
In order to discuss some SFPs and their English intonational equivalents with sufficient thoroughness and detail, this research has, by necessity, restricted itself to examining only a small number of them. Law said that many studies on SFPs have attempted to discuss the entire inventory e. Law opted for an elaborate account of just two SFPs zaa3 and tim1 for her doctoral thesis. For this study I have also purposely selected a small number in order to examine each one in sufficient detail. I look at the syntax and semantics of four SFPs and their English equivalents.
I could have chosen other particles and will do so in future studies but there were good reasons for choosing the four that I did for the present study. The SFPs I selected divide naturally into two pairs based on their functions and meanings: particles of obviousness lo1 and aa1maa3 ; and question particles me1 and aa4.
I discuss and contrast these semantically related pairs in order to show that the explications I propose for each SFP is sufficiently accurate to account for all and only those contexts within which it can be used, distinguishing it, not only from SFPs that are semantically distant, but also from an SFP that has a closely related function and meaning, and which is therefore interchangeable in many but not all contexts. Another good reason for choosing these four particles is that they are relatively well documented in the literature.
Referring to the literature was very helpful to developing accurate explications for the particles. Regarding frequency of occurrence, each of the four particles lies in the upper half of the list of 37 particles that I searched for in the corpus. The orders and frequencies were: lo1, 5th most frequent with 1, occurrences; me1, 10th with occurrences; aa1maa3, 11th with occurrences; aa4, 14th with occurrences. This study is organized as follows.
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The remainder of this chapter explains the research problems and goals, and talks about the value and usefulness of the research. Chapter 5 explains the research design and methodology. Chapter 6 proposes NSM explications i. Chapter 7 discusses the extent, if any, to which past syntactic descriptions of the SFPs of this study can plausibly be applied to their English counterparts. Chapter 8 offers a summary and conclusion, and chapter 9 suggests possibilities for further research. The problem stated in 1 does not mean that the definitions of SFPs should be free of any references to the discourse context.
Most SFPs connect their attached sentences to the discourse in some way. Their definitions should therefore include an accurate representation of this connection. A mistake seen frequently in the literature is that definitions of SFPs often include meanings that come from the sentences they attach to or the discourse contexts they appear in, rather than from the SFPs themselves. Problem 2 states that the literature has not translated SFPs into their actual English equivalents. The reason for this is not because previous authors have failed, rather it is because this has not been a goal of any Cantonese linguists to date.
With only a few minor exceptions the literature has paraphrased the meanings of SFPs in English rather than attempted to describe the forms of English discourse intonation to which the SFPs are equivalent. One of the rare exceptions came from Chan , who showed two questions that were exactly the same except for their SFPs—one used the interrogative particle maa3 and the other the question particle me1.