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英语中定语从句的语法功能研究_教育学论文

英语中定语从句的语法功能研究

The  Study of Discourse Functions of English Restrictive Relative Clauses

  本研究主要探讨在英文论述文与叙述文文本中,英文限定关系从句的话语功能。本论文主要是从句法、语意、语用和话语结构的观点,来探讨限制性关系从句的功能与它在话语单位所出现的位置有何关联。研究结果显示多数的限制性关系从句出现在话语单位最前面的位置,而且他们往往引导他们新的先行词作为整个话语单位的主题。

  The study will discuss the discourse functions of English restrictive relative clauses are mainly based on spontaneous conversations and written narrations. Rare studies were found on the discourse functions of English restrictive relative clauses in written data. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the discourse functions of English restrictive relative clauses in written expositions and argumentations by native speakers of English. Also, we study the use of English restrictive relative clauses in the compositions by Chinese college students.

  因此本论文认为,大多数限制性关系从句会出现在话语单位最前面的位置,是因为它们有一个很重要的话语功能,那就是它们要引介新的先行词作为整个话语单位的主题。此外,本研究也探讨大学英文系学生在他们的英文写作中,使用限制性关系从句的情形。

  In particular, we want to know how the discourse functions of English restrictive relative clauses are related to their occurrences in discourse structures. Thus, our analysis includes considerations from four dimensions: syntax, semantics, pragmatics and discourse. The present study investigated the use of relative clauses by Chinese EFL students in their proposal writing.

  From the previous studies, we know how English Restrictive Relative Clauses operate in spontaneous conversation. The use of Restrictive Relative Clauses is for two reasons: grounding and description. Restrictive Relative Clauses achieve grounding function by either doing a proposition-linking work or anchoring the new referents by virtue of the given referents in Restrictive Relative Clauses. Besides, Restrictive Relative Clauses fulfill the description function by providing new information for their newly-introduced head NPs. Furthermore, Restrictive Relative Clauses are realized by different types of syntactic relatives:A-relatives, S-relatives, and O-relatives. Different syntactic types may contribute to different discourse functions of Restrictive Relative Clauses.

  The findings of previous studies are mainly from studies on spontaneous conversations. Whether their findings can be generalized to written texts is doubtful because the typical pattern of given/new information status of discourse entities in spoken discourse is very different from those in written discourse. Most referring expressions in spontaneous conversation present given information, and among these given information, exophoric referents such as you and I account for over half of all given referents in conversation whereas this kind of given referents are almost absent from written texts. Second, the preferred nominal forms used for given referents are also different in these two registers: Spoken texts have greater reliance on pronouns and written texts use full lexical NPs most of the time. Compared with spoken discourse, written discourse consists of higher proportion of full lexical NPs expressing new information. So it is clear that there exists discrepancy between spoken and written languages with respect to information status of referring expressions. Based on this fact, we have reasons to believe that written texts may not rely on as many human pronouns in grammatical subject positions as spoken texts do to anchor new referents. O-relatives in written languages thus may not occur as frequently as in spoken languages.



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