Luận văn A Vietnamese-English cross-cultural study of the use of hedging before giving bad news

As Brown and Levinson (1987) illustrate, hedging can also be used to tone down the force of for example request, as in “Give me a hand, if you can”. In such cases, one might even say that the reservation included in the hedge may be seen as a way out for the addressee in case he or she in fact is not in a position to help, the hedge thus signaling the conditions under which the request may be disregarded by the addressee. As work by Stubbs (1986) and Markkanen and Schroder (1982) illustrate, hedging may be taken to involve lexical items, propositions and illocutionary forces. While distinguishing between hedges of these three types is illuminating in theoretical terms, it seems that the distinction between them is not always clear-cut. G.Lakoff who drew attention to the theoretical importance of the phenomenon also reports R. Lakoff’s observation that certain verbs and syntactic construction convey hedged performative that is, they modify the force of speech act. They can also be studied as Hedges on illocutionary force. It is performative hedges in particular that are most important linguistic means of satisfying the S’s wants. Such hedges may be analyzed as adverbs on performative verbs that present the illocutionary force of the sentence.

As Brown and Levinson (1987) illustrate, hedging can also be used to tone down the force of for example request, as in “Give me a hand, if you can”. In such cases, one might even say that the reservation included in the hedge may be seen as a way out for the addressee in case he or she in fact is not in a position to help, the hedge thus signaling the conditions under which the request may be disregarded by the addressee. As work by Stubbs (1986) and Markkanen and Schroder (1982) illustrate, hedging may be taken to involve lexical items, propositions and illocutionary forces. While distinguishing between hedges of these three types is illuminating in theoretical terms, it seems that the distinction between them is not always clear-cut.

G.Lakoff who drew attention to the theoretical importance of the phenomenon also reports R. Lakoff’s observation that certain verbs and syntactic construction convey hedged performative that is, they modify the force of speech act. They can also be studied as Hedges on illocutionary force. It is performative hedges in particular that are most important linguistic means of satisfying the S’s wants. Such hedges may be analyzed as adverbs on performative verbs that present the illocutionary force of the sentence.

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