Tài liệu Contrative analysis of primary sentences in english and those in vietnamese

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Acknowledgements In order to finish this study, indeed I received a lot of help, advice and encouragement from my teachers, my friends and my family. First of all, I would like to express my deep gratitude to my supervisor, M.A NguyÔn ThÞ Têng who helped me a lot, guided me enthusiastically and gave me useful pieces of advice. I would also like to give my heartfelt thanks to all the teachers of the Foreign Languages Department, my good friends for their documents and advice, especially, to my family who supported me with love and encouragement. Vinh, April 2004 NguyÔn ThÞ H¬ng Giang 1 1. Reasons for choosing the subject "Language is the most important communicative device of human beings"(quoted by NguyÔn Nh· B¶n, 2002: 150). Through languages, people establish and control multi - sided interactions among them. Of many units of the language system, sentences are extremely important ones. They are probably the most familiar of all grammatical terms. In the process of communication, people use many kinds of sentences with various purposes such as exchanging information, asking someone to do something... Among them there are imperative sentences. Their existence adds to the colour of human life. It can not be denied that imperative sentences are largely used in daily conversations. However, imperative sentences and using them in interactions are different in languages, involving English and Vietnamese. For example, in English, when you would like someone to close the door, you can use the sentence: - Close the door, please. (1) In Vietnamese, we say: - Anh ®ãng giïm em c¸nh cöa víi! (2) We can see that one of the differences of the two imperative sentences is that the English sentence has no subject meanwhile the Vietnamese one has a subject "anh". Some questions may appear in your mind: what does "please" mean in English imperative sentences? How do emotional particles, "víi", for instance, affect Vietnamese primary imperative sentences? Studying the similarities and the differences of imperative sentences in English and Vietnamese helps us a lot to understand 2 more their characteristics in teaching foreign languages, and more importantly, it helps us to use imperative utterances reasonably in the process of interaction. In addition, the appearance of communicative approach and functional grammar has a great influence on our view about languages, including sentences and imperative sentences. Furthermore, we find it interesting and necessary to study the differences and similarities of the imperative sentences in English and those in Vietnamese in terms of functional grammar. For the reasons above, we decided to choose the subject: Contrastive analysis of primary imperative sentences in English and those in Vietnamese. 2. Aims of the study The aims of this study are:  To improve the language users’ ability of using primary imperatives in English and that in Vietnamese;  To present a brief overview on primary imperative sentences in English and that in Vietnamese;  To show some similar and different features of the structure of English and Vietnamese primary imperative sentences;  To investigate some sub-functions of primary imperative sentences in English and those in Vietnamese;  To help language learners or users to know degrees of necessity of primary imperative acts in English and those in Vietnamese; 3  To help language users to understand some factors that have great influences on the force of primary imperative sentences;  To show the scope of using primary imperative sentences in English and that in Vietnamese;  To suggest some practical applications about primary imperative sentences in English and those in Vietnamese. 3. Scope of the study This thesis is about contrastive analysis of the primary imperative sentences, one of the three kinds of imperative sentences. In this thesis, the theory used for analyzing and contrasting is mainly based on the theory of functional grammar. Also, in this thesis, we only concentrate on contrasting and analyzing some noticeable features of the structure of primary imperatives, degrees of the necessity of imperative acts, some factors affecting the force of primary imperatives, scope of using primary imperative in English and those in Vietnamese. 4. Methods of the study - Descriptive method - Analytic method - Comparative and contrastive method - Collecting method - Statistical method - Systematic method - Experimental method - Synthetic method 5. Design of the study The thesis is composed of three main parts: introduction, investigation and conclusion. 4 Part A consists of five terms: reasons for choosing the subject, aims, scope, methods, designs of the study. Part B is subdivided into three chapters: In chapter I, we state a general view on theoretical preliminaries. In chapter II, we focus on contrastive analysis of primary imperative sentences in English and those in Vietnamese. In chapter III, we give out some remarks when using primary imperative sentences and translating them from English into Vietnamese and vice versa. Besides, we suggest some exercises and activities that may help language learners or users in learning and using primary imperative sentences in English and Vietnamese. Part C is the conclusion of the thesis. 5 Chapter 1 Theoretical preliminaries 1. 1. An overview on sentences 1. 1. 1. Different opinions about the definition of the sentences We are introduced to sentences in our early school years and they quickly become a part of our linguistic awareness. We speak in sentences, we are taught to write in them, making sure that they are put in all the periods of time. It might therefore be thought that sentences are easy things to identify and define. The opposite turns out to be the case. Because of the fact that, about the definition of sentences, so far, there have been a lot of definitions with various opinions. For example, Alexandria grammatical school (300-200 B.C) said that sentence is a combination of words which expresses a complete thought *. According to Vinogradov, a Russian grammar professor, "a sentence is a complete unit of the utterance grammatically constituted with rules of a certain language, being the most important device to denote and to convey thoughts. In sentences, there exists not only the description of reality but also the relationship between the speaker and the reality" **. Vietnamese grammarians have been trying their best to give out exact and full definitions of sentences. For instance, NguyÔn L©n wrote that:" Many words combined to show a clear sense about actions, states or characteristics of things are called a sentence” ***. Another author, §ç ThÞ Kim Liªn [1998: 101] defines a sentence as follows: “a sentence is a unit of words which is set up in the process of thinking, relating to a particular and certain context so as to inform something or express an attitude. A sentence has an independent grammar structure and ending- intonation “, etc. (*, ** and *** are quoted by §ç ThÞ Kim Liªn, 1998: 100). 6 In summary, different schools have their own definitions about sentences. Many linguists have recently tried to elicit the good and the radical points from many different ideas to present the most reasonable one. In fact, no definition about sentences has been perfect so far. The word "sentence" is actually somewhat problematic. However, all opinions presented above are thought to be examples to show that the definition of the sentence has been noticed for a long time. 1. 1. 2. Main characteristics of the sentences From what we have already mentioned and as far as we know, at present, in linguistics, there has not been a standard and complete definition about sentences. On the ground of many opinions about sentences of various authors, we would like to present some outstanding and main characteristics about sentences affecting our graduation thesis: a. Sentences are determined by semantic grammatical relations, these relations determine the functions of abstract units in a sentence as well as kinds of sentences in terms of meaning. b. Sentences exist and operate in a system of language under different forms and variants. c. Sentences perform specific functions (according to certain purposes of information). d. Sentences have ending intonation. 1. 1. 3. Kinds of sentences Illocutionary forces or functions are superficially indicated by a number of devices. It is claimed that grammatical sentence types literally indicate functions. In English, there are four main types of sentences: declaratives, interrogatives, imperatives and 7 exclamatives. Each has a typical form, which helps us to recognize it. For example: - She is a brave girl. (Declarative) - Is she a brave girl? (Interrogative) - Be brave! (Imperative) - How brave she is! (Exclamation) There are four main sentence types: Sentences Declaratives Interrogatives Imperatives Exclamatives 1. 2. Sentences, utterances, speech acts and their relations 1. 2. 1. Relation between sentences and utterances A sentence is the object of grammar, the largest abstract unit of syntax. According to Doctor §ç ThÞ Kim Liªn, “an utterance is a unit of speech. It is separated from succession of speech to communicate or from texts to express direct words of characters in conversations” [1999: 82]. As for J. C. Richards, “what is said by any one person before or after another person begins to speak is an utterance” [1993: 395]. It is obvious that, there has not been common understanding about sentences and utterances. Sentences are considered the units constructing the language system. Meanwhile, utterances are the units constructing speech. Sentences and utterances have close relations. In Vietnamese grammar, the author Hoµng Träng PhiÕn says, “Sentences are 8 abstract things and utterances are concrete things. Sentences are unchangeable but utterances are changeable. Utterances’ function is to realize the syntactical model of sentences, they are also the existential means of these models” [1980: 13]. Particularly, “utterances are sentences which are filled with specific lexical units, they may be used in different contexts with different goals” [§ç H÷u Ch©u, 2001: 31]. In other words, utterances are existential means of sentences. In this thesis, the sentences used to analyze are equivalent to utterances. 1. 2. 2. Relation between utterances and speech acts In daily life, people might be able to produce a number of sentences using grammatical structures and these sentences might reflect a set of functions. These relate to speech acts. So, what are speech acts? In Pragmatic, George Yule proposed that “ in attempting to express themselves, people do not only produce utterances containing grammatical structures and words, they perform actions via those utterances… Actions performed via utterances are generally called speech acts” [1996: 47]. For example, you can say, “Will you close the door, please!” “Could you close the door, please!” or “Close the door, please!” to express a request, if the addressees do that action, it means that they have already performed the speech act of request. In other words, speech acts are generally actions performed via utterances. By producing utterances, we have speech acts. In short, utterances are expressions of speech acts. 1. 3. John R. Searle and speech act theory Searle showed that it is possible to classify utterances into a very small set of functions. Depending on four main criteria: illocutionary points, direction of fit, psychological states and propositional content, Searle listed a system of five categories of 9 speech acts or utterances’ functions. These include directives, commissives, representatives, declaratives and expressives [1976: 10]. + Directives: Directives are speech acts that speakers use to get someone else to do something. They express what speakers want. These kinds of acts are orders, commands, demands, requests, begs, suggestions, pleads, advice, invitation. For example: - Let’s go out for a meal. (1) - Why don’t you go to see the doctor? (2) The function of the first utterance is suggesting, the function of the other one is advising. + Commissives: Commissives are speech acts that speakers use to commit themselves to some future action. They express what speakers intend. They are promises, threats, refusals. For example: - I will not be late for work any more. (1) - We didn’t tell her that story. (2) The function of the first utterance is promising, the function of the second one is refusing. + Representatives: Representatives are speech acts that state what speakers believe. In other words, they describe states or events in the world, such as assertions, conclusions, reports… For example: - The earth moves around the sun. (Assertion) - It was a warm sunny day. (Description) + Declaratives: Declaratives are speech acts that change the state of affairs in the world. They are announcement, appointment, nomination, etc. declarations, For example, when the chairman says: “I declare the meeting open”, a 10 changing really takes place, people start to make speeches or address the meeting and so on. + Expressives: Expressives are speech acts in which the speaker expresses psychological states, feelings or attitudes about a given state of affairs. They are expressions of joy, compliment, apologizing, complaints, pleasure, sorrow… For example: - I’m terribly sorry! (Sharing sorrow) - How intelligent you are! (Compliment) 1. 4. Form and function of the sentence Traditionally, there is one – to – one match between form and function of the sentence. The function of each type of sentences has been associated with a particular illocutionary force. For example, the function of a declarative is to make a statement, the function of an interrogative is to ask a question, that of an imperative is to give a command and that the function of an exclamation is to exclaim. For example: a. What a nice hat! (Exclamative – exclamation) b. You wear a hat. (Declarative – statement) c. Do you wear a hat? (Interrogative – question) d. Wear a hat. (Imperative – command) Each of these is true, sometimes, but each of the four sentence types can serve different jobs, can fulfill more than one function. Therefore, one particular sentence form is not tied to one meaning. On the view of discourse analysis, it would be unlikely that, on any occasion, a natural language utterance or sentence would be used to fulfill only one function. It means that different structures can be used to accomplish the same function and vice versa, a certain structure may be used to express 11 various functions. In other words, there seems no one - to – one relation between grammatical forms and communicative functions. For example: a. Where are you from? (Interrogative – b. Could you give me that book? (Interrogative – question) request) c. Why don’t we go out for a walk? (Interrogative – suggestion) The three sentences have the same form of interrogatives. The first one has the form of an interrogative and its function is a question, but the function of the second one is a request and that of the third one is a suggestion. 1. 5. Modality of the sentence Modality is much associated with the meaning of sentences. According to §ç ThÞ Kim Liªn, “a sentence consists of two parts: one part indicates descriptive meaning, which is usually created by lexical meaning; the other part expresses the speaker’s attitude or evaluation toward the reality mentioned. This part involves modality” [1999: 52]. It is expressed by many modal factors such as interjections, modal verbs, intonation… For example, to show fears we can say: - Oh, how horrible! (Interjection) With an event, the speaker can express different attitudes through emotional words (interjections) such as: - MÑ vÒ råi ? - A! mÑ vÒ råi! - MÑ vÒ ®i! 12 In the first example, “” indicates surprise, in the second one, “a!” expresses delight and with the word “®i, the third one shows an emotional state that the daughter or the son hurries his or her mother to come back home. CHAPTER 2 CONTRASTIVE ANALYLSIS Of primary IMPERATIVE SENTENCES In ENGLISH AND those in VIETNAMese 2. 1. An Overview on imperative sentences 2. 1. 1. Different opinions about imperative sentences Imperative sentences play an important role in communication. So far, lots of authors have put forward their opinions about the definition of the imperative sentences. 13 According to Lª Huy Trêng in “A grammar of the English language”, an imperative sentence is “a sentence whose purpose is to induce the person addressed to fulfill a certain action. They may be done in the form of a command, order, or request” [1999: 169]. As for DiÖp Quang Ban, imperative sentences are used to ask or order the hearer to do what the speaker wants. They have certain signs of form [1998: 235]. David Crystal defined that imperative sentences instruct someone to do something [1995: 219]. On the view of pragmatics, imperative sentences are considered in terms of speech acts. Searle analyzed, “They are attempts of the speaker to get the hearer to do something. They may be very modest “attempts” as when I invite you to do or suggest you do it or they may be very fierce attempts as when I insist you do it” [1976: 11]. In the book ”Vietnamese functional grammar”, Cao Xu©n H¹o states that imperative sentences are sentences in which illocutionary force affects the second person, then he or she performs a one - sided or co - operative action [2000: 132]. From what we have mentioned, we see that all authors emphasize the content: imperative sentences are used to get someone to do something. 2. 1. 2. Definition of the imperative sentences From many opinions above, imperative sentences are sentences whose function is to evoke the hearer’s reaction so that he or she can reply to the speaker with actions that the speaker wants. In other words, the speaker may force the hearer to complete an action as an order but he or she may expect the hearer’s willingness, kindness when he or she accomplishes that action. For example, when the speaker orders the hearer to carry out an action, he can say like that, “Stop!” in English, “Dõng l¹i!” in Vietnamese. However, when the speaker wants to request the 14 hearer to do something, he can use imperative sentences like that “Close the door please!” or “CËu ®ãng giïm tí c¸i cöa víi” in Vietnamese. 2. 1. 3. Kinds of imperative sentences Imperatives are rather various because of the fact that there are many ways of forming imperative utterances. On the basic of the purposes of use and communication, we have different kinds of imperatives. In this limited study, we temporarily divide imperative sentences into three types in terms of forms. They are performatives, primary imperatives and indirect imperatives. They can be illustrated as follows: Imperatives Performatives Primary impera tives Indirect imperatives 2. 1. 3. 1. Perfomative imperative sentences Performative imperative sentences are sentences which contain performative verbs of imperatives such as “demand”, “recommend”, “request”, “order”, “ask”, “command”, “invite”, “advise” in the present tense in English or the verbs “yªu cÇu”, “®Ò nghÞ”, “mêi”, ra lÖnh”, “h¹ lÖnh”, “b¶o”, “khuyªn” in Vietnamese. In these sentences, “there are indirect objects in second person (“you”), the subjects must be first person singular, indicating that the utterances “ count as” actions by being uttered” [George Yule, 1996: 51]. For example: In English: - I order you to shut it. 15 [Austin, 1962: 73] J - I warn you not to cross the moors at night. [Doyle, 1997: 7] In Vietnamese: - §Ò nghÞ mÊy anh xÐt cho. Nã lµ em t«i mµ c¸i g× nã còng giµnh. [NguyÔn §¨ng M¹nh, 2000: 382] - Tha bµ, ch¶ d¸m. Nhng mêi bµ vµo ch¬i trong nhµ. [Kh¸i H ng, 1989: 316] According to Austin, “In saying something we are doing something” [1962: 94]. It means that, when we use these verbs (order, ask…) in uttering sentences, we are performing equivalent actions. For example, by uttering the sentence “I warn you not to cross the moors at night”, the speaker is performing the act of warning. He demonstrated that people not only use languages to make statements or questions about the world, but they also use them to perform actions that affect or change the world in some way. 2. 1. 3. 2. Indirect imperative sentences As presented, there is rarely one – to – one match between forms and functions of the sentences. Thus, imperative sentences can be taken into account. For example: In English: - Rob, could you poor the wine, please? [Hartley and Peter, 1994: 140] - Why do not you close the windows? 16 In Vietnamese: - Anh TuÊn ch¾c ch¬i ghi ta kh¸ l¾m? (It implies “Anh ®¸nh cho chóng em nghe ®i”) [Lu Quang Vò, 1994: 66] - Sao cËu l¹i tù tiÖn bãc th cña b¸c Êy? (It implies “§õng bãc th cña b¸c Êy”) [L¬ng S¬n, 1989: 37] The special thing here is that all examples shown above have the form of interrogatives but are not really used to give questions. (i.e, we do not expect only answers, we expect actions). In these cases, these sentences are normally understood as requests. The speaker uses yes – no question forms and wh – question forms to get someone to do something. Thus, to understand meanings or functions of the indirect imperatives, both speakers and hearers need to think over the utterances. That means we have to consider specific contents about meanings, contexts, relations, etc. There is a great dimension that the British would prefer to use interrogative forms to make requests or offers rather than to use imperative forms because they think that with interrogative forms, request or offers can be more polite than that with imperative forms. 2. 1. 3. 3. Primary imperative sentences Unlike performative imperative sentences, primary imperative sentences do not contain any performative verbs such as “command”, “request”, “beg” in English or “ra lÖnh”, “thØnh cÇu”, “van xin” in Vietnamese. These have particular forms and the functions of direct acts. For example: In English : (1). - Shut up! (command ) [Jenny Koralek, 1995: 32] 17 (2). - Do forgive me! (request) [Michael Swan, 1995: 254] In Vietnamese: (3). - ¤ng ®õng tr¸ch m¾ng bän nã nhÐ! (request) [L¬ng S¬n, 1989: 13] (4). - Qu©n bay ®©u, mau mang tªn ¨n mµy nµy ra trÞ téi. (command) [Hoµng Nguyªn C¸t, 1993: 118] Obviously, we can not find any performative verbs of the imperatives in the mentioned examples. In addition, when we speak out these sentences, it means that we have already accomplished imperative acts or imperative functions. For example, in the first sentence and the fourth one, the speakers carry out acts of commanding, the second one and the third one function as requests. In conclusion, there are many ways of expressing imperative acts. Each kind of the imperatives gives us deep interest. However, in this graduation thesis, we pay much attention to contrastive analysis of the primary imperative sentences in English and those in Vietnamese. 2. 2. Acknowledgement of primary imperative sentences in English and those in Vietnamese 2. 2. 1. Primary imperative sentences in English 2. 2. 1. 1. Form and use * Primary imperative sentences are constituted with the base form of the verbs, i.e, the present infinitive without “to”. There is no tense distinction in primary imperatives. They are marked by the absence of person and subjects are often omitted. Examples: - Come over to the window, Joe! 18 [Ann Baker, 1992: 64] - Look out of the window! [Ann Baker, 1992: 64] * We negate primary imperatives by using “do” with “not” or “n’t”. - Don’t cry anymore! [Bïi ThÞ Hång, 1998: 22] - Do not be afraid, my dear. [Bïi ThÞ ViÖt Hång, 1998: 24] * Emphatic imperatives: We can make an emphatic primary imperative with “do + infinitive”. This is common in polite requests, complaints and apologizes: - And now, please do stop crying. [Collins Cobuild, 1990: 204] - Do forgive me! [Michael Swan, 1995: 254] * Primary imperatives are used to tell or ask someone to do something, to make suggestions, to give advice or instructions, to encourage and offer or to express wishes for people’s welfare...For example: - Try again – You nearly did it. [Michael Swan, 1995: 254] - Look in the mirror before you drive off. [Michael Swan, 1995: 254] The first sentence is used to encourage the hearer to continue performing an action. The second one is used as a piece of advice. 2. 2. 1. 2. Categories (1) Primary imperative sentences without subjects 19 Primary imperatives without subjects are the most common category of all. Examples: - Look at that car! [Ann Baker, 1992: 22] - Go away! [Emily Bronte, 1992: 10] (2) Primary imperative sentences with subjects As said in the part “form and use”, a primary imperative sentence does not usually have a subject but it is implied in the meaning of an imperative that the omitted subject is usually the second pronoun "you". This can be confirmed by the occurrence of "you" as a subject of the tag question “Give me a hand, will you?” or by the presence of "yourself " and of no other reflexive pronoun as object: - Behave yourself (not behave himself), etc. However, we can use a noun or a pronoun to make clear whom we are speaking to: - You shut the door! [Ann Baker, 1992: 105] - Mary come here! [Michael Swan, 1995: 254] A third person subject is also accepted in this case: - Everybody stand up! [Ann Baker, 1992: 14] - Somebody open this window! [Quirk, 1972: 402] (3) Imperative sentences with vocatives While in primary imperative sentences, subjects always precede the verbs, vocatives are elements that can take both 20
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