Data_Sheet_1_Investigating the Interaction Between Prosody and Pragmatics Quantitatively: A Case Study of the Chinese Discourse Marker ni zhidao (“You.CSV (36.12 kB)
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Data_Sheet_1_Investigating the Interaction Between Prosody and Pragmatics Quantitatively: A Case Study of the Chinese Discourse Marker ni zhidao (“You Know”).CSV

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posted on 06.12.2021, 17:31 by Yi Shan

This study briefly describes the prosodic and pragmatic characteristics of the discourse marker ni zhidao (“you know”) in spoken Chinese. It mainly explores the interaction between its prosody and pragmatics using instrumental methods. It is the first attempt to use acoustic and statistical analysis to examine the prosodic parameters and prosody-pragmatics interaction of a Chinese discourse marker. The corpus includes 71 interview conversations totaling more than 30 h, in which 490 discourse marker tokens of ni zhidao were found. Ni zhidao mainly fulfilled four broad pragmatic functions of initiating a topic when occurring sentence-initially, of holding the floor when appearing within clauses, of marking coherence when making its presence between clauses, and of projecting attitudes and feelings when showing up sentence-finally. Drawing on the algorithm of random forest in R, the acoustic and statistical analysis of the performance of ni zhidao in these four functions showed that its prosodic features, including duration, tempo, pre-pause, post-pause, F0, and intensity, significantly relate to and thus imply its pragmatic functions, that the interaction between its prosody and pragmatics can be modeled statistically, and that the established pragmatics classification model based on prosody can be utilized to predict the pragmatics of ni zhidao. These findings seem to strengthen the hypothesis that prosodic variables play a role in deciphering the different pragmatic functions of ni zhidao. This study uses prosodic evidence to more objectively reveal not only the part of ni zhidao in dynamically constructing and embodying specific contexts but also its communicative functions and the underlying meta-pragmatic awareness behind it. This study breaks through the limitations of traditional discourse marker research, which mainly relies on context and discourse characteristics for subjective reasoning.

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