Current Post-docs

Xin Xu (徐欣)

Functions of Discourse Markers in English and Chinese Fictional Discourses: A Corpus-based Study

The present study examines the distinctive functions of discourse markers in Chinese and English in the fiction genre. Three types of discourse markers are chosen for the comparative analysis: (1) the contrastive discourse markers but in English and dan shi in Chinese; (2) the elaborative discourse markers you know, I mean in English and ni zhi dao in Chinese; and (3) the inferential discourse markers so in English and suo yi in Chinese. Two online corpora, COCA and CCL Corpus, are used as data, and WordSmith Tools 6.0 is used to obtain the frequencies of the discourse markers and to identify their distributions.

The analysis has shown that discourse markers play a large role in constructing discourses, but their propositional functions are manifested only on the content level. In particular, the analysis of the distribution of discourse markers has shown that the discourse markers are constructive to the semantic and informative structure of the discourse, and that the semantics/pragmatics interface influences those regularities. The examination of specific discourse marking expressions has revealed that English discourse markers tend to be more pervasive than their Chinese counterparts in the fiction genre, which corresponds with the hypotaxis features of English and parataxis characteristics of Chinese language features.


Long Yang (杨陇)

A Corpus-based Study of China’s Image in English Translations of Yu Hua’s Avant-garde Fiction

Short-lived but special and sparkling, Chinese avant-garde fiction is viewed by many literary critics as one of the most important parts of contemporary Chinese literature from both home and abroad. So far in some Anglophone countries, avant-garde fiction, in which Yu Hua is always considered as one of the central figures, has become an important part in sinologists’ studies of Chinese contemporary literature, and a way for them to look into the contemporary Chinese society and culture. Also, Yu Hua’s avant-garde fiction is widely translated into other languages, especially into English.
Drawing on Critical Discourse Analysis and a Corpus-based methodology, this research examines China’s image in Yu Hua’s avant-garde fiction and their English translations from three aspects, namely, Chinese characters’ image, Chinese political image and Chinese cultural image. It also identifies any shifts in these images in the English translations and discusses what prompted these shifts. It is hoped that the result of this research will benefit the study of “Chinese cultural going global”.