A study of the interactional function of the tag question dui bu dui in Mandarin conversation from a multimodal perspective

  • Author / Creator
  • This thesis investigates the interactional function of the tag question dui bu dui (‘right?’) in Mandarin conversation and the prosodic and visual features involved in its production. Adopting the methodology of Conversation Analysis and Interactional Linguistics, the present study explores the function of dui bu dui in 8 hours of Mandarin conversational data. These two methodologies have not been used in the study of tag questions in Chinese Linguistics. Dui bu duis in the data mainly have two interactional functions: seeking acknowledgment and seeking affiliation. These two interactional functions of dui bu dui have not been documented in the previous studies. A detailed examination of the data shows that when used after the topic component of an utterance, it serves to seek acknowledgment of the referent specified in the topic. When occurring after an assertive sentence, dui bu dui is used to seek the recipient's affiliation with the speaker’s stance revealed in the speaker’s immediately preceding assertion. Dui bu duis are also produced with recurrent prosodic features such as slightly falling pitch movement and short duration. In addition, some visual behaviors (e.g., gaze shift and hold of gesture) are involved in the production of dui bu dui. The current study is an attempt to study dui bu dui from a multimodal perspective. The study shows that dui bu duis have different interactional functions depending on the sequential position in which they occur. This study contributes to our understanding of the use of dui bu dui in everyday Mandarin conversation.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Li, Xiaoting (East Asian Studies)
    • Commons, Anne (East Asian Studies)
    • Kost, Claudia (Modern Languages and Cultural Studies)