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Linguistic Pragmatics: time deixis, implicature, presupposition, speech acts (english-bulgarian comparison)

Linguistic Pragmatics: time deixis, implicature, presupposition, speech acts (english-bulgarian comparison)

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Published by ukashaka
Compares time deixis in modern English and Bulgarian, gives examples on implicature, presupposition and speech acts
Compares time deixis in modern English and Bulgarian, gives examples on implicature, presupposition and speech acts

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Published by: ukashaka on May 09, 2013
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11/19/2013

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I.TIME DEIXISDifferent ways of using time deixis in Bulgarian and English:
Deixis is reference by means of an expression whose interpretation is relative to theextralinguistic context of theutterance,such as who is speaking, the time or place of speaking, the gestures of thespeaker,the current location in thediscourse,etc. Sometimes languages
differ in their way of “pointing out” certain portions of reality
andas a result translation in such cases is a matter of some difficulty so that a variety of translation procedures is required.For example, Bulgarian and English use different ways of expressing days in relation tothe moment of utterance:
English expression Literary BulgariantranslationBulgarianequivalentexpression1
the other day
“другият ден”
 
преди няколко дни
 
2
the day before yesterday
“денят преди вчера”
 
онзи ден
 
3
the day after tomorrow
“денят след утре”
 
вдругиден
 
4
next Sunday
“следващата неделя”
 
тази неделя
 
5
last summer 
“последното лято”
 
миналото лято
 
6
a forthnight ago Ø
преди две седмици
 
7
Sunday week 
„неделя седмица”
 
следващата неделя
 
In examples 1,2,3,4,5
and
7
we use the translation procedure of 
substitution
becausein both languages the same referent exists.
In example 6
we need another procedure,
explanation
, because no notion of 
“forthnight” is present
in Bulgarian.Another telling example of using time deixis differently in Bulgarian and English isthe reported (indirect) speech. Tense shifts appear in English whereas in Bulgarian no suchchanges can be detected.
English tense shift
/shifted verbs are in
bold
/
Literary BulgariantranslationBulgarianequivalentexpression1
She said that she always
drank 
 coffee
“тя каза, че винаги
пиеше
 
кафе”
 
Тя каза, че винаги
пие
кафе
 
2
He explained that he
wasreading
a book 
„той обясни, че
четеше
 
книга”
 
Той обясни, че
чете
книга
 
3
He said that Bill
had arrived
onSunday
„той каза, че Бил
бешепристигнал
 
в неделя”
 
Той каза, че Бил
е
 
пристигнал внеделя
 
4
... ... ...
Substitution
is needed here as well in order to translate these sentences correctly. Nevertheless, another, slightly unexpected, change is obligatory in Bulgarian as can be observed in the sentence bellow where the corresponding verb in direct speech is in pasttense:
 A.
„Бил
пристигна
arrived 
 )
в неделя”, каза той
. vs.
 B.
Той каза, че Бил
епристигнал
 
is arrived 
”)
 
в неделя.
 
 
A specific member of the grammatical category of Mood exists in Bulgarian languagewhich emerges in cases like the above mentioned (e.g. when we report past tense statements).It is the so called Conclusive mood which we use in sentences like B. A further speculationon what causes such a shift of mood while, as a rule, expressions of time and grammaticaltense should change could possibly lead us to another level of Linguistics
 – 
functional-semantic fields. We can draw a conclusion that the speaker usually witnesses the performingof a present tense action while a past tense action is never witnessed by the one who reportsthe speech. Thus one can obtain this information only by the means of conclusion (listeningto a probable viewer of the past action). What I mean here is the following:The speaker 
who says “
 Бил пристигна в неделя”
has obviously seen Bill arriving onSunday. The speaker 
who says “
...
 Бил е пристигнал
...” obviously has not seen Bill’s
 arriving but concludes that Bill has arrived after receiving the information from the firstspeaker. In such cases in Bulgarian the marked member of Conclusive mood acts to supportthe reporting of an utterance.Another interesting observation is that, in contrast to tense shifts, which are obligatoryin English but never detected in Bulgarian, a shift of words and expressions of time is neededin both languages for a semantically correct sentence to be formed when one reports speech.Consider the following example:C. English:
“I saw him
today 
”, she said 
. vs.
She said that she had seen him
that da
.
 D.
Bulgarian: “
 Видях го
днес
”, каза тя.
vs.
Тя
 
каза
 ,
че
 
го
 
е
 
видяла
 
същия
 
ден
 
(same day).
 
where, in fact, “
that day
” and “
 same day
(същия ден)
” act as
semantically equivalent deictictools.
II.PRESUPPOSITION
1.
-
 Нали вече ви казах, че той се казва Карлсон и че живее там горе, напокрива — 
 
 рече Дребосъчето. — 
 
 Какво особено има тука? Нима хората не могат даживеят, където си искат?
 )
 
-
Ти си отговорен за своите постъпки — 
 
каза строго бащата — 
 
и не трябва дастоварваш вината върху някакъв си Карлсон от покрива, който изобщо несъществува.”
 
By saying
той
 
се казва
 Карлсон
Lillebror 
(Дребосъчето)
triggers a presupposition that Karlson exists and this is what makes his parents angry because they
don’t believe it
.By saying
нали
 
вече
 
ви казах”
he triggers the presupposition that his parents have
asked him the same question (presumably “Who broke th
e steam-engine?
”)
at least twice andthis is what makes Lillebror angry.
2.
 
 Аз ще ти дам още по
-
 хубава машина — 
 
 успокояваше той Дребосъчето.
 
 — 
 
Ти ли? — 
 
 учуди се Дребосъчето.
 
 — 
 
 Разбира се. Горе при мене има няколко хиляди парни машини.
 
 — 
 
 Къде е това „горе“ при тебе?
 
 — 
 
 Горе в моята къщичка на покрива.
 
 — 
 
Ти имаш къщичка на покрива? — 
 
попита Дребосъчето. — 
 
 И няколко хиляди парни машини?”
 
 
 Аз
 
ще
 
ти
 
дам
 
още
 
по
-
 хубава
 
 машина
implies that Karlson owns at least onesteam-engine and this presupposition is what astonishes Lillebror and makes him asenthusiastic as he inquires
“ти ли?”
 While answering this question Karlson immediately triggers another presuppositionand provokes another question thus keeping Lillebror intrigued continuously:
“Разбира
 
се
.
 Горе
 
при
 
 мене
 
има
 
няколко
 
 хиляди
 
парни
 
 машини”
. This time the presupposition is that he
lives somewhere “up”
and it is instantly followed by the next inquire:
“Къде е това “горе”при тебе?”
 3.
 
-
 Красиви
 
картини
!
 — 
 
каза
 
той
 
най
-
после
.
 — 
 
 Необикновено
 
красиви
 
картини
!
 Макар
 ,
 разбира
 
се
 ,
да
 
не
 
са
 
толкова
 
 хубави
 
като
 
 моите.
 
 Дребосъчето скочи на крака и не знаеше къде да се дене от радост: толковадраго му беше, че Карлсон се върна.
 -
 Много ли картини имаш на покрива? — 
 
попита той.
 -
 Няколко хиляди. Пък и аз самият
 
 рисувам в свободното си време.”
 
When Karlson says
“макар
 ,
 разбира
 
се
 ,
да
 
не
 
са
 
толкова
 
 хубави
 
като
 
 моит
,he triggers presupposition that he also holds some paintings and thus provokes Lillebror toinquire
“много
 
 ли
 
картини
 
имаш
 
на
 
покрива”.
 
III.IMPLICATURE
1.
-
 Добре де, добре — 
 
каза майката.
 -
 Значи вие
обещавате
 — 
 
 радостно подхвана Дребосъчето — 
 
да не говоритена Карлсон
 
нищо за парната машин
a
 -
 Интересно — 
 
намеси се Бетан, — 
 
как ще могат те да кажат или да некажат нещо на Карлсон
 , когато никога не се срещат с него?
 -
 Не,
ще се срещнат
 
 — 
 
отговори спокойно Дребосъчето, — 
 
 защото Карлсон ев моята стая.”
 In this conversation Lillebror forces his parents to give a promise not to talk toKarlson about the steam-engine thus making an implicature that a possibility exists for the parents to meet Karlson. However, it is not decoded by his older brother Betan who puts thereasonable question
как
 
ще
 
 могат
 
те
 
да
 
кажат
 
или
 
да
 
не
 
кажат
 
нещо
 
на
 
 Карлсон
 ,
когато
 
никога
 
не
 
се
 
срещат
 
с
 
него
” 
.
 
Betan
couldn’t decode the implicature because
Lillebror flouts the Maxim of manner, Be orderly: he puts the facts in the reverse order and
doesn’t manage to create the presupposition “my parents are to meet Karlson after while”.
 If he had stated the facts orderly as follows:
a.Karlson is in my room in this moment.b.
 I’m going to introduce my parents to Karlson.
 c
.I’m afraid they are going to
quarrel with him reproaching him for the broken steam-engine.d.I want them not to do that.e
.I’ll 
make them promise not to talk to Karlson on the matter of the steam-engine.
it would have been clear for Betan what the presupposition and the implicature were about.By saying
нима
 
 хората не могат да живеят където си искат
Lillebror creates an implicature that he believes his parents are angry with Karlson for his living on theroof which
implies that Lillebror doesn’t realize his father is angry with Lillebror himself for 
the broken steam-engine. Here, he unconsciously flouts the Maxim of relation Be relevant

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