当前位置: 首页 > >

顺应理论视角下对《围城》中反讽的研究

发布时间:

太原理工大学 硕士学位论文 顺应理论视角下对《围城》中反讽的研究 姓名:贺婷 申请学位级别:硕士 专业:@ 指导教师:@ @

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

顺应理论视角下对《围城》中反讽的研究 摘 要

本文采用维索尔伦的语言学顺应论作为理论框架,从动态角度对《围城》中的反讽 言语行为进行系统的语用诠释,从而更好的分析和欣赏该作品。 反讽作为一种有趣的语言现象经常发生在人们的交流中。研究者对反讽进行了多领 域的研究:美学领域,社会学领域,哲学领域等等,并已有了丰富多样的发现。本文将 从语用学的角度来对其进行系统和动态性的探讨。 就方法论而言,本文属于基于语料分析的定性研究。语料来源于小说《围城》 ,其精 妙绝伦的讽刺和反讽让人称叹。然而,研究者们往往都从文学评论的角度来分析其作品 的思想及其修辞风格,如何从语用学的角度来分析这部文学作品中的反讽, 创造性地挖掘 其艺术内涵,显得非常重要。本文采用顺应理论作为理论框架,从动态的角度,来分析 和欣赏该作品中的反讽艺术。 本研究的论述分为两大部分。第一部分(第一章、第二章、第三章)对反讽的研究 进行回顾,从而用维索尔伦的顺应理论构建了对反讽进行综合性语用研究的理论模式。 顺应理论系统而全面地阐述了人类语言使用的动态过程。根据顺应理论,使用语言的过 程就是语言选择的过程,人类之所以能够对语言做出选择就在于语言本身具有变异性、 商讨性和顺应性。用语言表达意义的过程是一个动态的过程,这一过程因人们顺应语言 的意识程度不同而影响着语境和语言结构间的关系的变化。本文根据这一理论框架,认 为小说反讽表现人们有意识或者无意识不断选择语言的过程。 交际者为了更好地进行交 际, 必须要使反讽的选择顺应语言的各个层面以及交际语境中任何一个和语言选择构成 相互适应的要素,包括交际者的物理世界,社会*惯和心理动机。同时反讽的顺应过程 是动态的,不同的个人和社会心理过程会产生反讽意识。 第二部分(第四章、第五章、第六章)以顺应理论为基础,详细地分析了《围城》 中的反讽的复杂性,功能性和动态性。第四章主要分析了叙述者反讽叙述的语境要求。 叙述者的反讽叙述反映了作品创作当时的社会现实,满足了读者的文学欣赏需要和要 求,与读者互动,从而顺应叙述者的创作意图。第五章主要探讨反讽的语言结构和动态
iii

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

性。反讽作为一种语言选择,包括语言暗示和结构暗示,从而使人物之间、读者和作者 之间的交际意图能够被识别。此外,本章还分析了人物之间的对话的语境顺应。作品中 的人物为了满足交际的目的,适时采用反讽,顺应彼此阶段性的个性、目的、愿望和情 感。 最后,本文希望该研究中的发现能够应用到其它同类的小说研究中去,证明顺应理 论的普通适用性。

关键词:反讽,顺应理论,语用学, 《围城》

iv

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

A STUDY OF IRONY IN FORTRESS BESIEGED BASED ON THE ADAPTATION THEORY ABSTRACT

Irony, as an interesting language phenomenon, occurs frequently in conversational interactions. While sometimes we can easily and happily pick it out, sometimes we may find it difficult to follow. The study on irony has been the focus of attention for researchers from various traditions, including aesthetics, sociology, philosophy and so on. Researches in these fields have worked from different perspectives and achieved different findings. The present study makes an attempt to analyze irony systematically from a new pragmatic perspective. The present study, from the language adaptation perspective, offers a pragmatic functional analysis of irony in Fortress Besieged, hoping to find a systematic and coherent account of irony as a result of linguistic choices so as to help us gain better understanding and appreciation of the artistic value of Fortress Besieged. Methodologically speaking, the present study belongs to a qualitative study based on the data collected from literature. It is both data-driven and theory-driven. The Adaptation Theory is proposed by Verschueren who tries to integrate social and cultural elements into the study of pragmatics and has furthered the development of pragmatics. Based on Jef Verschueren’s Adaptation Theory (Verschueren, 1999), the present study makes an investigation into the functioning of irony in Fortress Besieged. The research is presented in the following parts. First, the beginning three chapters intend to develop a theoretical model of irony based on the Adaptation Theory. After an examination of the definition and classification of irony, the historical evolution of studies on irony, an exploration of the rhetoric and the different pragmatic approaches and their limitations, a theoretical model of irony under the framework

i

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

of Adaptation Theory is developed, which takes into account the linguistic , social and mental factors comprehensively. From the perspective of the Adaptation Theory, irony is analyzed as result of linguistic choice to adapt to the linguistic reality, social, mental and physical elements in language use and language interpretation. Meanwhile, the adaptation is processed dynamically through the medium of adaptation salience. Second, the following Chapter Four and Chapter Five are devoted to a detailed analysis of the complexity, functioning and dynamics of ironical expressions in Fortress Besieged on the basis of the Adaptation Theory. Chapter Four provides a detailed and dynamic analysis of how the novelist Ch’ien Chung-shu makes use of many ironic narrations as adaptation to the depicted social reality, to the reader reaction and to his own intention. Chapter Five demonstrates with enough examples that irony, as a realization of linguistic reality, is closely related to the structural objects, consisting of linguistic clues and structural clues. Moreover, it illustrates the functions of ironical utterances to discover, with the dynamic transformation of their relationships, how the characters use different strategies to adapt to their psychological intentions and emotions, the social norms and power relationship. Devoted to the analysis of irony in Fortress Besieged employing the framework of the Adaptation Theory, the present study integrates social and cultural elements to the study of pragmatics, to prove that a variety of ironical discourses in this work can find convincing illustrations with the Adaptation Theory as the guidance. The author of the present study hopes that the discoveries in the thesis can be used in studies of other similar literature works and can prove the universality of the linguistic adaptation processes.

KEY WORDS: Irony, the Adaptation Theory, Pragmatics, Fortress Besieged

ii





本人郑重声明:所呈交的学位论文,是本人在指导教师指导下, 独立进行研究所取得的成果。除文中已经注明引用的内容外,本论文 不包含其他个人或集已经发表或撰写过的科研成果。对本文的研究做 出重要贡献的个人和集体, 均已在文中以明确方式表明。 本声明的 法律责任由本人承担。

论文作者签名:

日期:

关于学位论文使用权说明
本人完全了解太原理工大学有关保管、使用学位论文的规定,其 中包括:①学校有权保管、并向有关部门递交学位论文的原件和复印 件;②学校可以采用影印、缩印或其它复制手段复制并保存学位论文; ③学校可允许学问论文被查阅或借阅;④学校可以学术交流为目的, 复制赠送和交换学位论文;⑤学校可以公布学位论文的全部或部分内 容(保密学术论文在解密后遵守此规定) 。



名:

日期:

导师签名:

日期:

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Chapter One
1.1 Introduction

Introduction

Irony, as one of interesting and significant language phenomena, occurs frequently in conversational interactions. The study on irony has been the focus of attention for researchers from various fields, including the fields of aesthetics, sociology, philosophy and so on. Researches in these fields have worked from different perspectives and achieved different findings on irony. In linguistics, irony has been analyzed from the perspective of semantic analysis and only recently from that of pragmatics. This study, based on the achievements made by the Adaptation Theory, analyzes irony from a general pragmatic perspective, now that there is still broad research vacuum left and irony is worth further pragmatic investigation. This chapter introduces the rationale, the objectives, methodology and data collection of the study, and then introduces the contents of each chapter that follow.

1.2 The Rationale of the Present Study
Based on the Adaptation Theory approach, the present study carries out a research on the interpretation of irony in Fortress Besieged. The approach views literature as discourse and as communication with emphasis on context. The choice of this research topic is based on the following consideration: The first one is that, according to Sperber and Wilson (1986), one of the questions that should be kept in mind in assessing a new approach to human communication is whether it is relevant to more than one of the many disciplines involved in the study of human communication, such as linguistics, pragmatics, literary studies, and whether it could foster fruitful interactions among them. Since literature is deemed as “verbal art”(Halliday,1985:viii), literature provides the scholar of language with a testing ground for the advanced theoretical modal, so linguistic theories, to be verified is further improved and perfected by so doing. Through analyzing the irony of Fortress Besieged, the present study shows the interesting communication effect of this language phenomenon with the aid of theoretical tools provided by the Adaptation Theory.
1

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

The second one is from the theoretical consideration. Irony should be regarded as a dynamic process of linguistic choice, not a consequence in communication, so it is not enough to offer some rhetoric explanations, which was mainly discussed in the traditional studies. To do further research on irony, it should be analyzed at a deeper level as well as from a wide scope. By placing the argument on the basis of the Adaptation Theory framework of irony, and applying the framework, the present study shows the feasibility of applying the Adaptation Theory approach to the study of irony.

1.3 The Problems with the Existing Studies
After surveying the relevant literature on irony (see Chapter Two), a number of problems are revealed and should be solved. Firstly, irony widely exists in people’s communication; so many publications are relevant to the researches on irony, and definitions of it have been given by such authors as, Muecke(1969), Booth(1974); but a comprehensive definition of irony is not east to make. And many researches on it have also clarified the distinctions and relations among irony and satire, for example, Frye (1962), Abrams (1962). However, they seem still ambiguous. Therefore, it is necessary to make some efforts to define it and clarify the distinctions and relations between irony and other related concepts in this domain. Secondly, irony in the previous studies has been discussed in various fields. A rhetoric, angle has already been applied in the study on irony, and these studies have enriched the research in this issue and made great contribution to this research field. However, they are still not completely satisfactory as a mature research paradigm. Pragmatics, which studies communicators’ language use and language understanding in specific context, has been proved to be one of the most powerful research perspectives. As a result, an academic research from the pragmatic perspective is to bring the dynamics of irony in the specific context to light. Realizing and considering these problems in the existing studies on irony, we will make an attempt to solve them.

1.4 The Objectives of the Present Study
The aim of the present study is to analyze irony from a pragmatic perspective that is consistent

2

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

with Verschueren’s understanding of language use. Based on the Adaptation Theory, the present study will focus on the following objectives: First, the present study presents a comprehensive operative mechanism, underlying the use as well as the communicative effects irony may produce. This study fully reveals the irony’s richness of meaning, the diversity of irony functioning and the complexity of use. Second, the present study summarizes the relevant theories of pragmatics on irony, to arrive at the conclusion that the Adaptation Theory will be utilized. By analyzing the ironic utterances, in the literature work Fortress Besieged, which is well known in China and abroad, it attempts to prove that one of the best ways to achieve the adequate interpretation of irony is in the light of the Adaptation Theory, which provides us with a key to the mechanism of inference and a dynamic view of context for the understanding of discourse, especially its implication. The study will focus on one important question about irony: how literature language utterers and its interpreters achieve the successful communication together? Thirdly, the present study attempts to develop a theoretical mode of irony that can take into account the linguistic, social and mental factors comprehensively. Finally, it proves studying irony in the novel is not only beneficial for a better understanding of the novel and society of that time, but also useful for the study of irony in general. It is hoped that a better understanding of the creative language phenomenon can be finally obtained from this effort.

1.5 Research Methodology and Data Collection
As far as methodology is concerned, the majority of the present study is based upon the qualitative analysis of the data using the theoretical framework. So the present study is data-driven and theory-driven. The theoretical framework is based on Verschueren’s Adaptation Theory (Verschueren, 1999), and is specified according to the data collected for the present study. And the thesis begins with collecting data, then categorizes them, and finally analyzes them within the theoretical framework. The data used for the present study are mainly taken from the literature works, which are supposed to approximate natural conversation and daily life, because they are from the real life and reflect the real life. They are meant to prove the feasibility and effectiveness of applying the

3

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Adaptation Theory approach to the analysis of irony.

1.6 Outline of the Thesis
This thesis consists of six chapters, which can be divided into three parts. The first three chapters belong to Part One, and it is the theoretical foundation of the present study. Chapter Four and Five form Part Two, which analyzes the irony and presents the significance of the present study, and it is the most important parts of this thesis. Part Three is made up of Chapter Six, which draws a conclusion. Chapter One provides a general introduction to the present study, explains the reasons and motivations of the present study by exploring the problems in the existing studies on irony, and it also sets the objectives of the present study. Chapter Two presents a review of the relevant literature based on categorization of the previous efforts and approaches, deals with the definition, evolution and classification of irony. Chapter Three presents a theoretical framework for the analysis of irony, which is developed from the Adaptation Theory proposed by Jef Verschueren (1999). It illustrates the dynamics of the essential elements in irony, and the model for the purpose of the present study is also specified according to the data collected for the present study. Chapter Four systematically analyzes the fantastic communication influence of this language phenomenon—irony. That is, it focuses on analyzing the process of ironic narration as adaptation to the physical world, the social world and the mental world. Chapter Five mainly includes two parts. Firstly, it demonstrates ironic strategy as a legalization of linguistic reality Fortress Besieged. In this part, the present study examines the linguistic cues and the structural cues. Secondly, it provides a detailed analysis of the dynamic process of characters’ utterance as adaptation to contextual correlate. The present study analyze the functions of ironic utterances to discover what kind of interpersonal relationship is established, maintained and transformed among the characters. Chapter Six draws a conclusion, which summarizes the major findings of the present study, points out its implications and limitations, and makes some suggestions for future study.

4

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Chapter Two
2.1 Introduction

Literature Review of Irony

Irony is natural and pervasive in daily communication. The study on irony has been the focus if attention for researchers from various fields, including aesthetics, sociology, philosophy and so on. Researches in these fields have worked from different perspectives and achieved different findings. These studies have enriched the research on irony and made great contribution to this research field. Based on the rich and growing and relevant literatures, this chapter aims to have a review of the definition, evolution and classification of irony. Moreover, the approaches used in the previous studies are reviewed, and the objective comments on each approach will be the basis of the present study. 2.2 Theories of Irony Irony is a ubiquitous form of language, used frequently in everyday discourse and in all known cultures (Booth 1974; Muecke 1969). It is also a source of amusement and confusion, which we sometimes can easily and happily pick out, or sometimes find it painful to follow. The present study is primarily a discussion of definition of irony, which is necessary in order to delineate the scope of study. 2.2.1 Definition of Irony First let us see Dr Johnson’s definition of this word: “a mode of speech in which the meaning is contrary to the words” (in Furst 1984: 23). For a more recent and elaborate one, please see the following:

Irony: 1) The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning. 2) An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning. 3) A literary style employing such contrasts for humorous or rhetorical effect. 4) Incongruity between what might be expected and what actually occurs. 5) An occurrence, result, or circumstance notable for such incongruity. (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
5

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

From these definitions, we know that if you say something but don’t intend it literally and causes laughter, i.e., you mean something else which is amusing and attacks, in a sense, your addressee or a third party(often something opposite to what you have said), there arouses irony. Irony has a ancient tradition of studies. However, most of the research on irony has been done within the paradigm of literary studies, with all the implied interest in its aesthetic and emotional value, and the corresponding lack of formalization. The exposition of irony can be seen in works of Muecke (1969, 1970, 1973, 1982), Booth (1974), and Barbe (1995), ect. Of course, many theorists have given their definitions of and elaborations on irony, such as the one presented by Leech and Short (1981):“For fictional purpose irony may be defined as a double significance which arises from the contrast in values associated with two different points of view.” Wilson and Sperber (1992) see irony as echoic mention or interpretation. Booth (1974) surveys the confusing situation in defining irony and then just focuses on the recognition and interpretation of it. A basic distinction in the study of irony is that between verbal irony and situational irony (also known as ‘irony of fate’: Muecke, 1970). In his monograph Irony (1970: 49), Muecke separates verbal irony from situational irony: “the former is the irony of an ironist being ironical; the latter is the irony of a state of affairs or an event seen as ironic”. He adds that verbal irony “raises questions that come under the headings of rhetoric, stylistics, narrative and satiric forms, satiric strategies” whereas situational irony, “while raising fewer formal points, tends to raise historical and ideological questions” (ibid: 50-1). Verbal irony is found when the words actually used appear to mean quite the opposite of the sense actually required in the context and presumably intended by the speaker. Situational irony presupposes the disparity or incongruity between what appears, or is believed, to be the case and the real state of affairs. Some theorists, such as Haverkate (1990: 78), further distinguish irony of fate and dramatic irony, within the broader situational irony. Dramatic irony appears when an audience perceives something that a character in the literature does not know. Irony is also closely related with some other concepts, such as satire, which will be discussed below. 2.2.2 Irony versus Satire Satire is a literary genre that uses irony, wit, and sometimes sarcasm to expose humanity’s vices and foibles, giving impetus to change or reform through ridicule (Murfin & Ray 1998: 357). The

6

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

satirist reduces the vaunted worth of someone or something to its real—and decidedly lower—worth. While irony, as stated before, is a contradiction or incongruity between appearance or expectation and reality. This disparity may be manifested in a variety of ways. It may exist between what someone says and what he or she actually means, between what someone expects to happen and what really does happen, or between what appears to be true and what actually is true. Further more, the term irony may be applied to events, situations, and even structural elements of a work, not just to statements. Often, satiric fictional structures serve as a vehicle for irony, exploring its potential to castigate subtly. Where then does satire leave off and irony takes over, or is it vice versa? The relationship between the two is by no means as straightforward as it is generally made to be. For Northrop Frye, “Satire is primarily directed at the impediments of society; but irony has an automatically expansive and destroying force; it is a bomb dropped on an objective which, if it misses that, will at any rate hit something in an enemy’s territory.” (1962: 23) It is found that the group of victims of irony is by far larger than the one of satire, because the presence of irony can be everywhere whereas the target of satire is always limited. Satire is hard to miss. The object of its ridicule is conspicuous, and exists outside the work itself. However, “The use of irony by a writer carries an implicit compliment to the intelligence of the reader, who is associated with the knowing minority not taken in by the literal meaning.” (Abrams 1962: 41) Following the intricate maneuvers of a great ironist like Swift is an ultimate test of a student’s skill in reading. Irony presents the curious feeling of paradox, of the ambivalent and the ambiguous, of a double contradictory reality. “In all ironies we are confronted with co-existing but irreconcilable, ‘realities’.” (Muecke 1982: 45) It is the absence of this feeling that distinguishes irony from other expression that is too heavy or too light to deserve the name.

2.2.3 The Evolution of the Concept of Irony
The word “irony” is derived from Greek eironeia meaning“dissimulation” (Katie Wales, 1989:263). From ancient times till now, irony has become certain people’s life stance and essences in many literary works. Eironeia is first recorded in Plato’s Republic. Applied to Socrates by one of his victims, it seems

7

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

to have meant something like a smooth, low-down way of taking people in. Aristotle, possibly because he had Socrates in mind, had rated eironeia, in the sense of self-depreciative dissimulation, rather higher than boastful dissimulation; modesty, though only pretended, at least seems better than ostentation. At about the same time the word, which at first denoted a mode of behavior, came also to be applied to a deceptive use of language; eironeia is now a figure in rhetoric; to blame by ironical praise or to praise by ironical blame. For Cicero and Quintilian, ironia is a way of treating one’s opponent in an argument and as the verbal strategy of a whole argument. The word “irony” does not appear in English until 1502 and did not come into general literary use until the early eighteenth century. However, “English was rich in colloquial terms for verbal usages which we might regard as embryonic irony: fleer, flout, gibe, jeer, mock, scoff, scorn, taunt.”(Muecke, 1982:16) But the concept of irony developed very slowly. The Augustans did not deem irony worthy of much respect. For them, “It was a figure of speech, a vehicle for local wit, a means of adding brilliance to a discourse or of making a point strikingly. But it was not as intrinsic to a work of art as a central shaping factor.” (Furst, 1984:24) It was only at the turn of the eighteenth century that irony suddenly assumed a prominent position. The year 1797, with the publication of Friedrich Schelgel’s Lyceum fragments, has been cited as the turning-point in the European history of the concept of irony. Drawing sharp distinctions not only between different uses of irony but also between different levels, Schelgel’s ideas are seminal in inaugurating an innovative approach to irony that was to be of lasting importance for modern literature. He sets up an elaborate hierarchy of ironies: common irony, subtle irony or delicate irony, super subtle irony, straightforward irony, dramatic irony, double irony, and irony of irony. Also he discriminates between what he considers the lower types of irony—the rhetorical, satirical, polemical, and parodistic—and the higher irony which he designates as genuine, complete, and divine in spirit. (Furst, 1984:25) The rise of both the Romantic Movement and the novel in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century encouraged the extension of irony and the change in its character. The former trend affirmed an infinite universe, in which flux, change and growth were the norms, and where indeterminacy, chaos, ambivalence and relativism were evaluated as positive preliminaries to a progression towards the ideal, so irony could be placed as one of the major activators of Romantic art. The rise of novel is commonly connected to the emergency of the bourgeoisie and to “the transition of from the objective, social and public orientation of the classical world to the subjective, individualist and private
8

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

orientation of the last two hundred years”. (Watt, 1957:176) The self-reflexivity that is an outcome of this stance opens up the space for irony as a mode of play with illusion and artistic form. If in the post-Romantic nineteenth century the dominant concept was that of nihilistic irony, what dominated the twentieth century seems to be that of an irony that is relativistic and even reluctant to commit itself to any meaning. We understand that irony is “a view of life which recognized that experience is open to multiple interpretations, of which no one is simply right, and that the co-existence of incongruities is part of the structure of existence” (Giora, 1995). This definition opens the way to relativism and eventually to a concept of irony that hardly distinguishes it from ambiguity or even a fear that one might be thought to have said something.

2.2.4 The Classifications of Irony
Types of irony can be classified and come under one of three broad headings: verbal irony, situational irony, and structural irony. Verbal irony, also called rhetorical irony, is the most common kind of irony. Verbal irony is characterized by a discrepancy between what a speaker or writer says and what he or she believes to be true. More specifically, a speaker or writer using verbal irony will say the opposite of what he or she actually means. Missing a verbal irony may lead the reader or audience to adopt a belief opposite to the one intended by the author. Situational irony, is also called irony of situation, derives primarily from events or situations themselves, as opposed to statements made by any individual, whether or not that individual understands the situation as ironic. It typically involves a discrepancy between expectation and reality Here three types of irony—dramatic irony, tragic irony, and Socratic irony—can be classified as situational irony. The term dramatic irony usually involves a discrepancy between a character’s perception and what the reader or audience knows to be true. Tragic irony is a type of dramatic irony marked by a sense of foreboding. Socratic irony, also called dialectical irony, is, loosely speaking, situational irony in nature, which refers to Socrates’ habitual practice of acting foolish when questioning his fellow citizens. Among the more recent systematic classifications are those of D. C. Murcke and Wayne C. Booth. Mueke, in The Compass of Irony, advocates a division into three grades: overt, covert, and private;

9

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

and four modes: impersonal, self-disparaging, ingénu, and dramatized. In a review article on The Compass of Irony, Norman Knox (1972) suggests other criteria for classifying ironies. His four variable significant factors are the field of observations; the degree of conflict between appearance and reality; a dramatic structure containing three roles--victim, audience, author; and the

philosophical-emotional aspect. The five categories, however, that this approach yields (tragic, satiric, comic, nihilistic, and paradoxical) are less original than Muecke’s theory. The most ambitious taxonomy of ironies is offered in A Rhetoric of Irony where Booth draws a basic distinction between stable, readily reconstructive ironies and unstable ironies that elude reasonable definitive interpretation. On this fundamental dichotomy Booth superimposes two further opposing pairs: overt/covert, and local/infinite. These categories then admit the following permutations: stable-covert-local; stable-overt-local; unstable-overt-local; unstable-covert-infinite; and stable-covert-infinite. A set of newer terminology was introduced by Alan Wilde (1981) in Horizons of Assent: Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Ironic Imagination, as various stages in a scale of irony associated with differing phases of the modernist mentality. Thus “mediate irony”, which serves to mediate a fundamentally satiric vision, imagines a world lapsed from a recoverable (and in the twentieth century, generally a primitivist) norm; by contrast, “disjunctive irony” (the characteristic form of modernism) strives, however reluctantly, towards a condition of paradox; and finally, “suspenseful irony” (connected with postmodernism), with its yet more radical vision of multiplicity, randomness, contingency, and even absurdity, abandons the quest for paradise altogether—the world in all its disorder is simply (or not so simply) accepted. However, this rather avant-garde categorization and the attempted diachronic gradation have been too general to cast much light on the problem of irony.

2.3 Approaches to the Study of Irony
Irony has been researched in many approaches. Within linguistics, researches range from semantic to psycholinguistic to pragmatics studies, with different focuses on the various facets of irony.

2.3.1 Semantic Study of Irony
Traditionally, irony has been identified as saying the opposite of what one means, or as saying

10

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

something other than what one means. Basically the standard view of irony suggested in traditional studies is that irony is taken as a figure of speech, “the use of a word, to express the meaning of its antonym” (Kaufer David, 1981). This view of irony is actually that taken by semantic theory. It goes back to Quintilian (35-100A.D.), a great Roman rhetorician, and no doubt further back still. For instance, Quintilian defines irony in terms of the fact that “we understand something which is the opposite of what is actually said” (1996). Many analysts have fallen for this idea, such as Haverkate (1990). Conventionally, there are four major linguistic devices to heighten the intensity of meaning required for semantic opposite or reversal: the first device is lexical. It just refers to the single word which can be intrinsically charged with very high positive meaning in the sentence. The second device is syntactic. There are three main syntactic means to heighten the intensity of a target expression—the superlative, the exclamation and topicalization. The third linguistic device is relatively well known: stylistic, such as excessive and elaborate praise or too much politeness is nearly always ironic. The last linguistic device is prosodic. Verbal ironies are often marked by some prosodic features. These measures if course are not equally available for all ironic expressions: some ironies may pick up one device; others may prefer two or more devices. However, there is a whole range of ironical utterances, such as ironical questions, understatements, exclamations and quotations, which simply cannot be analyzed in the traditional way.

2.3.2 Psycholinguistic Study of Irony
Psycholinguists since the late 1970s have made great contribution to the study of irony. They devote themselves to testifying, modifying and developing the previous theories from the experimental perspective. Among them, there are two main strains: one is processing—equivalence hypothesis and another one is graded salience hypothesis. Gibbs (1994) proposes the processing-equivalence hypothesis—claiming that understanding literal and non-literal language requires equivalent processes. According to the processing-equivalence hypothesis, given supportive contexts, ironic utterances should take no longer to read than their literal counterparts. Following the theory, the researchers claim that processing the literal meaning of an utterance is not precondition for reaching the intended irony. Rather, irony is processed directly so that

11

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

there is no substantial difference in how people process explicit and implicit interpretations. The recognition of a violation of cooperative communication does not condition the understanding of irony. The echoing of social norms or expectations is another feature in the understanding of irony. An important contribution to the study of irony also comes from the work of Giora (1995). Giora’s theory revolves around the two concepts of “indirect negation” and “graded salience”. Firstly, she has added some precision to the common association between irony and negation by attempting to spell out the exact type of negation involved in irony. The basic concept of the indirect negation view is that irony involves the presence of both the literal and the implied meanings and that the relationship between the two is that of indirect negation. On the issue of processing, she reacts against Grice (1975) and Clark and Gerrig (1984) who propose that interpreting irony involve abandoning the opposition expressed by the utterance. Instead, she argues that irony does not involve a cancellation of the indirectly negated message; “rather, it entertains both the explicit and implicated messages so that the dissimilarity between them may be computed” (1995). Therefore, irony involves what is said (the literal meaning) and what is implicated (the ironic meaning). Secondly, as summarized in Giora (1995) the theory assumes that: salient (that is coded) meanings of words or expressions and salient structures should always be accessed and always first, regardless of contextual bias or speaker’s intent. According to the graded salience hypothesis, direct process should apply when salient information is intended, that is, when salient information is compatible with contextual information. A sequential process should be induced when less salient meanings are intended. On such occasions, salient meanings should not be bypassed. Rather, they should be activated first, rejected as the intended meaning and reinterpreted in consistency with the principle of relevance.

2.3.3Pragmatic Study of Irony
Most modern theories have tired to move one step further from traditional rhetoric’s characterization of irony as meaning something different to what is said, in particular, the opposite of what is said. Pragmatic treatments promise to be the most successful approaches, as irony is after all a conversational phenomenon constituting meaning in context and in interaction.

2.3.3.1 Irony as Violation of Pragmatics Principle

12

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

The traditional pragmatic theory (Haverkate, 1990) assumes that, an utterance is recognized to be ironic when the hearer becomes aware of an apparent violation of some pragmatic principles, and as a result it conveys the opposite of the literal meaning. This view explains some typical ironies like in the following utterance: [A mother asked her son to clean his messy room, but he did a slippery job. After a while, she discovered that his room was still messy, and she said to her son] 1a. Your room is totally clean. According to the explanation, the mother’s utterance 1a violates the maxim of quality in that it obviously contradicts the situation. This theory, however, completely fails to explain many ironic utterances. For example, irony can be communicated by various expressions that don’t include the violation, such as literally true assertion 1b and an understatement 1c uttered in the same situation. 1b. I love children who keep their rooms clean. 1c. This room seems to be messy. But this view in irony has been under attacks. Grice’s theory of irony is not radically different from the traditional accounts (Sperber & Wilson, 1981). This assessment is confirmed by pre-Gricean accounts of irony, like that of Muecke (1973) and Booth (1974). Kaufer (1981) also treats Grice’s account of irony as essentially similar to the traditional account of irony, over which it constitutes a “significant advance’ in that it allows for the determination of the conditions in which an utterance should be considered ironic (e.g. the violation of the maxim of quality) and it allows the Brown reconstruction of the ironical intent even when irony revolves around non-truth conditional elements if the sentence. Grice’s account is flawed insofar as the violation of other maxims can be shown to trigger irony, as shown by Sperber& Wilson (1981) in the case of understatement. In a word, Grice’s theory on irony suffers from a crucial flaw, i.e. it is too restricted since the violation of any maxim, not just of that of quality, may trigger irony; and that the non-ironical sense is not discarded but used to compute the ironical sense. Also the violation-based view cannot discriminate irony from other nonliteral utterances (e.g. metaphors, indirect speech acts) which include the violation.

2.3.3.2 Irony as “Echoic Mentions”
13

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Sperber & Wilson (1981), finding fault with Grice’s approach, proposes interpretation of ironic utterances as echoic mentions of previous propositions, adding the speaker’s evaluation. They argue that verbal irony is a variety of echoic interpretation of someone’s thought, utterance, expectation, or cultural norm, in which the speaker dissociates him/herself from the echoed materials with accompanying ridicule or scorn. Thanks to the ironic comment, the speaker produces an utterance echoing what his or her interlocutor previously said or did, as well as expressing his or her own either disparaging or humorous attitude. In particular, according to the echoic theory, irony is a kind of indirect quotation used by people for echoing something in a misleading fashion. Consequently, on one side, ironic communication is an implicit mention (echo) of what one’s interlocutor said or did; on the other side, it is a way of showing one’s attitude toward the thought or the action that ironic comment refers to, or even toward one’s interlocutor. In this sense, irony can refer to a specific subject, as well as to a category of people, or even to social norm or a cultural trend. In ironic communication, implicitness works as a substitution of literal sense. When someone says “Today is a gorgeous day!”, while outside there is pouring rain, the implicit meaning of “hideous day” substitutes the literal sense. According to Sperber and Wilson, ironic communication consists in “making people impose one idea in another idea”. If someone asks, “Did you remember to water the flowers?” after days of rain, he or she echoes and comments the interlocutors’ anxiety to keep the flowers watered. In this perspective, the interlocutor realizes that speaker produces a comment about the expression itself rather than the meaning of the expression. This view may be essential to irony, but echoic interpretation theory is still incomplete as comprehensive framework of irony for at least three reasons. First, Sperber and Wilson’s notions of echoic interpreter and of dissociation from an echoed material are too marrow to explain all cases of irony. Second, they implicitly assume that the properties that characterize irony can be applied to recognition of ironic utterances as they stand or they do not focus on how hearers recognize utterances to be ironic. Thus, they cannot explain a certain kind of ironic utterances in which hearers are not aware of any pragmatic violation. Finally, these theories provide no plausible explanation of how irony is discriminated from non-ironic echoic utterances.
14

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

2.3.3.3 Irony as “Pretenses”

In an attempt to criticize the mention theory, Clark& Gerrig (1984) puts forward a different approach——the pretense theory of irony which integrates both the mention-based and the violation-based approaches, and claim that all ironic utterances allude to a failed expectation and violate one of the felicity conditions for well-formed speech acts. Like Mention Theory, Pretense Theory posits two types of victims, ‘the unseeing or injudicious person the ironist is pretending to be… [and] the uncomprehending audience not in the inner circle’. For example, the ironist of Situation [1], the mother, pretends to be an imaginary person, perhaps an indulgent mother who never reprimands her children, by exaggerating how ridiculous her behavior is. When the addressee recognizes this pretense, he understands that the speaker is expressing the intended derogatory attitude ironically. However, pretense is not a necessary property of irony. For instance, if one says “What lovely weather!” when the weather is miserable, the theory explains, the speaker is pretending to be an unseeing person, like a TV forecaster, exclaiming to some uncomprehending audience how beautiful the weather is. However, do hearers really identify such person in interpreting irony? Furthermore, in the case of [situation], the victim is obviously the mother’s son, but it seems unreasonable to suppose that he pretends to be her son or that he is an ignorant acceptor of what is said. These facts reveal that argument that ironist is pretending to be an imaginary person is very doubtful. And thus, irony does not necessarily include pretense. Pretense is not a sufficient property of irony, rather. One typical example of non-irony with pretense is parody: “What they offer as a theory of irony is a straightforward theory of parody” (Sperber, 1984). Moreover, as Kreuz & Glucksberg (1989) point out, the notion of pretense is too powerful for an adequate theory of irony in that it applies to all indirect speech acts. The resent version of the pretense theory by Clark (1996) argues that irony is viewed as joint pretense. The joint pretense view assumes an imaginary situation, rather an imaginary person, in which an ironist is performing a serious communicative act directed at the addressee. Irony is caused by their joint pretense in the actual situation that the event in the imaginary situation is taking place. Hence, on this view, the mother and her son jointly pretend that she praises him for his clean room to achieve
15

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

ironical effect.

2.4Summary
This chapter reviews the relevant literatures on irony. The definition, evolution and classification of irony are reviewed firstly. Then, the study compares the concept of irony and satire. Moreover, the chapter also presents the predominant linguistic theories and studies pertaining to irony, ranging from semantic to pragmatic and finally to psycholinguistic studies on irony. These approaches complement each other in a sense, although some of them are really different versions of a same description of irony. A new approach for pragmatic research is needed, with new development of pragmatics. This study will make further research on irony making use of genuine data from literature works.

16

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Chapter Three Theoretical Framework: Adaptation Theory

3.1Introduction
This chapter aims to present and explain the conceptual framework which is developed by observing and examining the data in a “pilot” study so as to lay the foundation for the present study. The conceptual framework of the present study comes from a major pragmatics theory, Verschueren’s Adaptation Theory, which provides a perspective for the present investigation. First of all, the two terms of micropragmatics and macropragmatics are to be distinguished. All the topics of micropragmatics are in the realm of the linguistics or the pragmatic aspects of linguistics, which are relatively small in scope. Topics under this pragmatic concern usually centers on deixis, presupposition, conversational implicature, conversational principles, speech acts, and conversational analysis. By tracing its tradition, this is often referred to as the Anglo-American tradition or perspective of pragmatics. Macropagmatics, which offers a broader perspective, associates pragmatics with other fields. This view of pragmatics is developed by researchers in north European nations and is mentioned as the Continental tradition of pragmatic treatment. According to the Continental pragmatists, language use is not only restricted within language itself, but rather connected with the social and cultural factors, which are vital in our language production and comprehension. Holding the view of pragmatics in accordance with the European Continental School, Verschueren proposes that pragmatics does not deal with language as such but with language use and the relationships between language form and language use. Obviously, using language involves cognitive processes, taking place in a social world with a variety of cultural constraints. In Understanding Pragmatics, Verschueren specifies pragmatics as “a general cognitive, social, and cultural perspective on linguistic phenomenon in relation to their usage in forms of behavior”. (Verschueren, 2000) 3.2 General Introduction of Adaptation Theory Verschueren’s Adaptation Theory could be summarized as one baseline, three key notions and
17

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

four inter-related angles of investigation for the purpose of clear explanation. 3.2.1 Language Use as Continuous Linguistic Choices According to Verschueren, using language consists of “the continuous making of linguistic choices, consciously or unconsciously, for language- internal (i.e. structural) and /or language external reasons” (Verschueren, 1999). When people use language, consciously or unconsciously considering such factors as physical, social and mental world, they do continuously make choices. Verschueren sums up seven features in making choices. First, choices are indeed made at every possible level of structure. Language is not a chunk, but a structure. The structure falls into various levels, phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and propositional and so on. Any construction intended for communicative purpose involves simultaneous choice-making at all these levels. Second, speakers do not only choose forms. They also choose strategies. Most of our daily encounters are interactive by nature. To achieve a particular communicative goal, one has to enact some interactive strategies most of the time, Third, the choices made by language users may show any degree of consciousness. Some choices are made very consciously, while some are made completely automatically. Fourth, choices are made both in producing and interpreting an utterance and both types of choice making are of equal importance for the communication flow and the way in which meaning is generated. Fifth, a language user has no freedom of choice between choosing and not choosing, expect at the level where he or she can decide either to use language or to remain silent. Once language is used, the user is under an obligation to make choices, no matter whether the range of possibilities can fully satisfy the communicative needs of the moment. Regular language users always have to settle for what comes to mind as the closest approximation of what we need. Sixth, as a rule, choices are not equivalent. This has been best illustrated so far with the phenomenon of preference organization as handled in conversation analysis. Finally, choices evoke or carry along their alternatives. In other words, any choice of a form motivated by its placement along any dimension of meaning not only designates that specific

18

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

placement but conjures up the entire dimension as well. Choice-making is supposed to be in the whole process of communication and is made at every possible level of structure. Besides the forms, the strategies can also be employed by the speakers. What’s more, choices are made in producing and interpreting an utterance, both of which are crucial for communication flow and the way in which meaning is generated. When speaking, the speaker is obliged to make choices which are not equivalent. 3.2.2 Three Key Notions of Language Use It is necessary to define three key hierarchically notions for a better understanding of Adaptation Theory. They are variability, negotiability and adaptability. Verschueren has defines three key notions, which also are three properties of language, to describe the process of making choices. These three notions “do not represent topics of investigation for linguistic pragmatics, but merely interrelated properties of the overall object of investigation foe linguistic pragmatics, the functionality or meaning functioning of language”(Verschueren, 2000). It is these three properties of language that enable the language user to make appropriate linguistic choices in the process of language use.

3.2.2.1

Variability

“Variability is the property if language which defines the range of possibilities from which choices can be made” (Verschueren, 2000). Variability means the capacity of expression of a language, which can be easily understood from the fact that within any particular language intralingual communication is carried out in a flexible manner. On one hand, an utterance may have different interpretations; on the other hand, users of any language have various ways to express a certain idea. The concept of variability may be associated with what is traditionally called “varieties of language”, whether defined geographically, socially, or functionally. Yet, it is meant to cover the entire range of variable options that must be assumed to be accessible to language users for them to be able to make choices. In addition, the change of possible choices cannot be seen as anything static or stable, but constantly changing. At any given moment in the course of interaction, a choice may rule out

19

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

alternatives or create new ones for the current purposes of the exchange. Variability in language is within everyone’s experience of using and listening to language and most people show some degree of interest in it. All normal speakers of a language exhibit stylistic variation in speech. Patterns of stylistic variation exhibited by speakers, taken together with other variables, may reveal the direction of linguistic change in progress at some particular time. Language use, which consists in all kinds and forms of choice making, is not a one-to-one word-word mapping. Basically, the users are not a homogeneous group, for there are all kinds of differences among them, ranging from age, gender, ethnic origin to level of education and occupation. No two speakers speak the same language, not even we ourselves speak in the same way to different people and in different contexts. Sometimes variability of language enables us to gauge the status and mutual familiarity of speakers, their reasons for needing to communicate. “Variability is the property of language, which defines the range of possibilities from the choices can be made” (Verschueren, 2000). It means the capacity if language choices, among which intralingual communication can proceed flexibly. The speaker is exposed to a variety of options to express the same idea; on the other hand, the receptor is confronted with diverse interpretations. Variability permits the language user to be able to make choices at all levels of language structure. The range of possible choices cannot be seen as static or stable. It is constantly changing in the course of communication. This naturally leads to the next notion—negotiability.

3.2.2.2

Negotiability

Negotiability is the property of language responsible for the fact that choices are not made mechanically or according to strict rules or fixed from-function relationships, but rather on the basis of highly flexible principles and strategies (Verschueren, 2000). As has been pointed out, language use consists in all kinds and forms of choice making. Various factors contribution to the variability of language make it impossible for the uses to speak the same “format” of language but necessarily to have different styles for making necessary switches. As the term suggests, the process of negotiation is not unilateral. Depending on the number of parties in a communicative event, it can be bilateral or multilateral. To satisfy the essential needs of various kinds, the communicators must take into account both their own needs and those of the others.
20

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

It is in this sense that pragmatics is not exactly about meaning, but about making meaning, showing how people negotiate meaning in interaction. Negotiation is also contextually dependent, the way people use language is shaped by all the contextual variables. In fact, virtually no meaning can be made if he sue of language is deprive of the context. Moreover, negotiation is often strategic. Verschueren (2000) proposes that, “although it makes perfect sense for pragmatics to look at the possible as well as the actual to learn about the principles of language use, a search for the limits of what is possible, i.e. the impossible (which, if found, would turn the principles and strategies into real rules), is futile.” As a result, given certain context, even Chomsky’s equally classical “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously” could be put to use if need be. Further, negotiability also implies indeterminacy of carious kinds including indeterminacy in the choice making in the side of the language producer as well as the interpreter. And the choices, once made, can be permanently renegotiated. Thus negotiability is not only context- dependent but also implies indeterminacy of various kinds. Negotiability means flexibility in language use; language users can apply appropriate principles and strategies in their choice-making to serve different communicative needs. The choices of linguistic forms and meaning as well as their effects should be negotiable. What underlies the dynamics of language use is that there is no one-to-one word-to-word or form-function mapping since language use is not governed by rigid rules. Rather, it is flexible principles and strategies that rule the act of choice making. In addition, language use is contextualized. Consequently, it is subjected to contextual constraints. Context being dynamic, those constraints are thereby negotiable. Different principles and strategies serve different purposes and communicative needs. According to Verschueren, there is a strong negotiability in language use and that it is futile to search for the limits of what is possible and what is not possible, in addition, negotiability implies indeterminacy of various kinds, both on the sides of language producer and interpreter. This also represents a process of choice making and can be permanently renegotiated. Since using language is a process of multiple choices making, variable possibilities can be explored in a manner not governed by rule and can undergo permanent negotiations, then another notion follows—adaptability. There is always one moment that a certain degree of successful communication can be achieved.

3.2.2.3

Adaptability
21

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

If using language consists of the continuous making if linguistic choices from a wide range of variable possibilities in a manner which is not rule-governed but driven by highly flexible and permanently negotiable principles and strategies, it is only natural to ask now it is still possible then for language to be used successfully for purposes of communication. The third notion adaptability will present a satisfactory answer. “adaptability, then, is the property of language which enables human beings to make negotiable linguistic choices from a variable range of possibilities in such a way as to approach points of satisfaction for communicative needs” (Verschueren, 2000). This definition calls for a few caveats immediately. Firstly, the needs served by language use can be both “ communicative” in the strict sense and close to being purely expressive without any communicative intent or effect. Therefore, in some cases language use may not necessarily serve certain communicative intent. Different degree of salience is involved in language use. Some choices are made very consciously to meet certain communicative needs while others are made automatically or subconsciously. Secondly, the “needs” in question mostly arise in context and can therefore be quite specific. Clearly, human beings live in various physical, social and mental worlds, thus their linguistic behavior is supposed to fit the conditions of there contexts correspondingly. Third, this “satisfaction” is only “approached”. The term “satisfaction” should not be interpreted as precluding the possibility of serious communication failure and miscommunication. Therefore the communicative success can never be taken for granted. Adaptability is not a guarantee for successful communication. Finally, adaptability should not be interpreted indirectionally. Linguistic choices are made in accordance with pre-existent circumstances and circumstances are also changed by, or adapted to the choices that are made. This means that linguistic structures and context are interadaptable. Adaptability serves as the link between variability and negotiability. It helps both sides of communication to approach satisfaction. Verschueren holds that adaptability should not be interpreted unidirectionally. In other word, choices can be made in accordance with circumstances while circumstances can be altered or adapt itself to choices that have been made.

22

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

3.2.3 Four Angles of Investigation
The Adaptation Theory could be examined from four inter-related aspects or angles for a better pragmatic description and explanation, including conceptual correlates of adaptation, structural objects of adaptation, dynamics of adaptation, and the salience of the adaptation process. These four angles are in perfect agreement with the linguistic, social, cultural and cognitive elements involved in the dynamic process of language use. A description of the concrete relationship between these four aspects is given in the following figure 3.1 (Verschueren, 1999).

CONTEXT

LOCUS

STRUCTURE DYNAMICS SALIENCE

PEOCESSES

MEANIGNFUL FUNCTIONIGN

STATUS

Figure 3.1

The structure of the pragmatic Theory

3.2.3.1 Contextual Correlates

Contextual correlates of the adaptability potentially include all the elements of communicative context ranging from physical world, social world and mental world. They cannot be seen as the static extralinguistic realities. Both the utterers and the interpreters have their respective choice-making practices, as the former makes production choices, and the latter interpretation choices. The contextual correlates can be sketched as Figure 3.2 (Verschueren, 1999)

23

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Physical World ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Social World ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Mental World ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Utterer---------------- Interpreter

Channel Production Choice Interpretation Choice

(Linguistic Context)

Figure 3.2

Contextual Correlates of Adaptability

3.2.3.2 Structural Objects

Structural objects of adaptability means that pragmatic phenomenon can be related to any or level of structure, form sound feature and phoneme to discourse and beyond, since the communicative choice-making usually takes place at any possible level of linguistic structure. Apart from the “structure” in the strict sense, the principles of “structuring” are also included. (Verschueren, 2000)

3.2.3.3 Dynamics

Dynamics of adaptability is regarded as the essential part of any pragmatic description or explanation in Verschueren’s Adaptation Theory. Adaptation processes over time. In essence, the dynamics of adaptability cannot be fulfilled without lending full force to the negotiability if choices. It has to take into account how communication principles and used in the adaptation processes of production and interpretation.
24

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

3.2.3.4 Salience
Salience of the adaptation processes means not all choices are made with equal consciousness. On the contrary, some are highly motivated whereas others are rather automatic with the functioning of human “mind in society”. According to Verschueren, they involve different ways of processing in the medium of adaptability both in production and interpretation. Salience is basically a function of the operation of the reflexive awareness involved in language use. (Verscheren, 2000) Making adaptation is the key to organism’s survival as evidenced by evolutionary epistemology. In terms of language use, human beings “make negotiable linguistic choices from a variable range of possibilities in such a way as to approach points of satisfaction for communicative needs.” (Verscheren, 2000) In this theory, it is assumed that language is a continuous making of linguistic choices, consciously or unconsciously, with different degrees of salience for the purpose of adaptation. In a word, these four tasks can be seen as necessary ingredients of an adequate pragmatic perspective on any given linguistic phenomenon. But these four tasks for pragmatic investigation are not to be situated all on a par with each other. A combination of contextual correlates and structural objects of adaptability unfolds the adaptive processes of between context and structure; the salience of adaptation sheds light on the status of adaptation processes in the realm of the consciousness of human beings involved.

3.3 The Framework of the Present Study
Generally speaking, the linguistic Adaptation Theory provides an original and systematic outline of the theoretical basis of pragmatics, incorporating its major theoretical perspectives and exploring its methodological issues. On the basis of Adaptation Theory, this study aims to construct a conceptual framework to have a better understanding of irony and its communicative functions in literature works.

3.3.1 Variability of Irony
Variability in the present study refers to the linguistic diversity. Irony always processes some degrees of variability, which is exhibited at levels such as phonetic, morpheme, and syntax. When

25

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

irony occurs, the speakers tend to raise their volume and tone which are based on the phonetic level. And at the level of morpheme, for emphasis, the word such as “too” may be used. Syntactic features can be seen in irony, because the speakers often use question and exclamatory sentence. In a word, the variability at these levels can be summarized in Figure 3.3.

Phonetic level Variability of Irony Morpheme level Syntactic level Figure 3.3 Variability of irony

3.3.2 Irony as a Result of Making Choices
One of the most important perspectives made by adaptation theory is that language use is viewed as continuous making of linguistic choice. When language is used, the user faces to make choice. Furthermore, speakers not only choose language forms but also strategies. Under this understanding of language use, we assume that irony, a pragmatic strategy, is one of the typical manifestations of linguistic choices. Irony is the result of utterer’s dynamic negotiation among optional linguistic forms and strategies. As a pragmatic strategy, it is adopted to reach particular communicative goals in the concrete process of communication, which will be shown in detail as following Figure 3.4.

Language users

Making choice Physical World Social World Mental World

Language use

to adapt to

Irony

Figure 3.4

Irony as a Result of Making Choices

3.3.3 Irony as Adaptation to Contextual Correlates Language users (utterer and interpreter) are focal points because the contextual aspects of the

26

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

social, mental and physical world don’t play a role in language until they have been activated by the language user’s cognitive processes. In ironic communication, interpreters may play many different roles. In order to reach some positive or negative goals, the communicators choose irony as their communicative means because of its intralinguistic features. Meanwhile, the use of irony can adapt the preference of social conventions and psychological intentions and consciousness. Contextual correlates include social world, mental world and physical world. If language users fail to make adaptation to these factors, they may cause failure in ironical communication. Language choice is a means of adaptation to the social world. Irony as a means of adaptation to the social world refers to the instances of deliberate irony rooted in the language user’s consideration of the social factors, such as social settings, social norms and interpersonal relations. Language choice is a process of adaptation to the mental world. Irony is a very special language phenomenon. So the language user’s execution of irony is based on his state of mind, such as his emotion and his spontaneous communicative motivations. One of the primary properties of the language user’s mental world is their emotion. Maybe he wants to express some feelings, or attitudes, or he wants to cause a special effect in verbal communication. The adaptedness to specific mental states also includes the adaptation to the utterer’s specific motivations or intentions behind the linguistic forms. Language choice is also a process of adaptation to the physical world. Temporal deixis and spatial deixis are the most studied, and most visible, ways of anchoring language choices into a physical world. When making linguistic choices, both the utterer and the interpreter should take temporal reference and spatial reference into account. In addition, the position of the utterer and the interpreter in the physical world, including their bodily posture, gestures, gaze and physical appearance may greatly influence the interaction.

3.4 Summary
On the basis of Verscheren’s Adaptation Theory, the study presents the conceptual framework to analyze irony with, and points out that irony is manifested in the adaptation to the social, mental and physical elements in language use and language interpretation. Meanwhile the adaptation is processed dynamically through the medium of adaptation salience. To proceed with a pragmatic account of irony

27

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

in Fortress Besieged, it is necessary to make clear the framework.

28

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Chapter Four

Irony in Fortress Besieged as narrative

Adaptation to Contextual Correlates
4.1 Introduction
In Chapter Three, we have introduced and explained the conceptual framework of the present study. According to the Adaptation Theory, irony is a result of linguistic choice originating in the language user’s adaptation to the communicative contexts. Language choice is a means of adaptating to the contextual correlates, namely, the social world, physical world and mental world. The physical world mainly refers to material elements that objectively exist and have influences on linguistic choices of communicators. In terms of social world, irony, as a concrete realization of linguistic choice making, is assumed to adapt to the social setting, the social norms, and the power relation. This type is considered to be the passive adaptation, since it is basically driven by the speaker-external elements. Also, the reasons why a language user employs irony are the important psychological drives for him to trigger off the production of irony. That is to say, irony is chosen on the basis of the interadaptation with mental states, such as emotions and motivations. In literature, verbal irony is a vehicle in which the narrator conveys ironic opinions. This vehicle must be verbal —in spoken or written forms. The narrator selects linguistic structures in a wide range of linguistic realities in order to adapt to a specific context. Then to what specific factors does Ch’ien Chung-shu, as a narrator, adapt when he uses strategy of irony? Katharina Barbe (2000) compares the difference of mutual influence on how irony is realized in spoken and written discourse and suggests that the way we interpret irony in a written work evolves with time and , of course, with the interpreting reader. This chapter takes abundant samples of irony from Fortress Besieged, aiming at explaining how the ironic narration touches upon the physical world, the social reality, the narrator’s personality and his emotion, and the reader’s interpretation.

29

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

4.2 Fortress Besieged----A Case Study 4.2.1 A Brief Introduction about Fortress Besieged Ch’ien Chung-shu ranks among the foremost twentieth-century Chinese novelists, and Fortress Besieged has been acclaimed as “one of modern China’s two beat novel” or “her greatest novel”. Many consider Fortress Besieged first serialized in Literary Renaissance and published in book form in 1947, and it has achieved immense popular and critical acclaim in China and has been translated into English, French, German, Russian, Japanese and Spanish. It was even adapted into a television mini-series in China in 1990. Though Fortress Besieged is a comedy of manners, Ch’ien’s ultimate aim is to make a statement about life by revealing the flaws of the people who live it. His observations are sharp and merciless. Ch’ien takes a great deal of delight in word play. He doesn’t write sermons to expose society’s faults as he sees them; instead, he uses a great many of ironies. In Dennis Hu’s (1978) investigation of the linguistic and stylistic point of view in Fortress Besieged, he details Ch’ien’s efficient use of imagery and symbolism and cites numerous examples of his linguistic manipulation and of his semantic manipulation. The application of the above-mentioned techniques, in Hu’s view, has contributed significantly to sarcasm, satire, irony, and wit found in the novel (1978). 4.2.2 The Types of Discourse in the Novel According to Van Dijk (1976) in his Pragmatics of Language and Literature, literature has every reason to be treated as a kind of specific speech act carrying its own appropriateness condition. Besides, he makes a distinction between macro speech acts and micro speech acts in a literary works. Macro speech acts refer to the macro conversations and communications taking place between the author and readers while the micro acts indicate the exchange among characters in a certain literary works. Macro speech acts determine the whole discourse, while the latter are executed by specific sentences in the discourse. We may explore the language material in Fortress Besieged along these two lines. For the novel Fortress Besieged, on a macro level, the author interacts with his readers through his ironic narration. At a micro level, the interaction between the characters, especially the interaction between Fang and the people around him seems the dominant feature of the novel.

30

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

4.2.2.1 Macro Ironical Effects with the Narrative Discourse

It is well known that Fortress Besieged is a novel featuring comedy of manners with much humor, as well as a “scholar’s” novel, involving a satire, a commentary on courtship and marriage, and a study of a typical contemporary man of the author’s day. Though the novel, the author’s knowledge is so wide that he is titled China’s foremost “scholar novelist”, a designation for a special class of literary men “who utilized the form of a long narrative not merely to tell a story but to satisfy their needs for all kinds of intellectual and literary self-expression” (C.T.Hsia, 1977). Fortress Besieged has structural unity and never burdens the reader with unnecessary or excessive information on any subject. The author’s technique of unfolding the story helps the narrative of the novel, supplying the reader not only with a story but also a voice, and an observant, witty and rhetorical narrator. Yet, Ch’ien Chung-shu’s ultimate aim is to make a statement about life by revealing the flaws of the people who live in it. The author does not expose society’s faults as one sees them; instead, he employs the strategy of irony. His ironic speech acts could be found in both his ironic narration permeates in the whole story. His macro literal irony or ironic presentation indicates that what the narrator really means differs from the literal meanings. This kind of statements states clearly a proposition, but implies at the same time a quite different opinion, which is just what the narrator really wishes to express or attitude. As for macro structural irony or dramatic irony, it means, instead of using specific words or sentences, the narrator expresses irony by arranging plots in a dramatic way. About the differences between the two, Abrams (1988) once said, “For literal irony, the narrator and readers share a common understanding of what is uttered, while the structural irony depends only on the readers to speculate of the narrator’s real intention”. Therefore, ironic narration in Fortress Besieged exists only between Ch’ien and the readers’, for whom this kind of irony is meaningful. The structural irony in this book mainly relies on the readers, who should make a speculation about what the author really means.

4.2.2.2

Micro Ironical Effects with Conversational Discourse

Micro speech acts indicate the exchange among the characters through dialogues in a work. Dialogues are the direct reflection of characters’ ideas and thoughts. Letters are also special kinds of
31

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

dialogues in written form, which plays a significant role in character painting. In Fortress Besieged, the story is developed mainly on the basis of various ironic dialogues among characters, which offers representative segments of life in narrator’s circle. The seeming easy dialogues give full expression to different personalities. Ch’ien Chung-shu culled his materials from the times, the places and the social classes familiar to him. Though all the characters and plots that form his story are fictional, he is so talented in characterization that his characters have resonance with average people’s life. In his work, the interaction between the characters, especially the interaction between Fang Hung-chien and the people around him seems the dominant feature of the novel. Every dialogue is full of witty irony and dramatic activities. In short, in Ch’ien works, irony is displayed not only through narrative tone, but also characters dialogue depiction. Ch’ien wants his readers to see the follies, vices and stupidities in people, to find a relentless satire of twentieth-century Chinese intellectuals, to make a sobering commentary on the true nature of courtship and marriage, and the sympathetic portrayal of a man, in whom we find mirrors of each of us. 4.3 Irony in Narrative Discourse as Adaptation to the Physical World Verscheren notes, “Temporal deixis and spatial deixis are the most studied, and most visible ways of anchoring language choices into a physical world.”(Verschueren, 1999) Language use is always situated against a physical background with which it is related in a variety of ways. Both the utterer and the interpreter should take temporal reference and spatial reference into account in the process of making linguistic choices. The utterer’s and the interpreter’s nonverbal elements such as posture, gesture, gaze and physical appearance influence the communication as well. If language users cannot make proper adaptation to the above-mentioned factors in the physical world, inappropriate linguistic choice will be made and irony will occur.

4.3.1 Adapting to Time and Space
Time is a relative notion rather than an absolute value in relation to language, and it interferers with a lot of other considerations. Temporal reference includes event time, time of utterance and reference time (Verschueren, 1999).

32

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Space refers to the environmental structures and conditions within which communication takes place. Spatial reference includes absolute spatial relations and relative reference spatial relations, i.e. utterer space or reference space. Utterer space indicates that the deictic center if the discourse is closely related to the utterer’s perspective; while the latter possesses a deictic center distinct from the uterer’s. The relevance of space as a contextual correlate of adaptability stretches beyond mere spatial reference (Verschueren, 1999). So the utterer and the interpreter should make an appropriate choice in relevant situations. [1] With the extraordinary appearance and acknowledgement, Miss Su prefers Fang Hung-chien’s loyal love; however, the fact is totally opposite:
苏小姐理想的自己是: “艳如桃李,冷若冰霜”,让方鸿渐卑逊地仰慕而后屈服地求爱。谁知道气候 虽然每天华氏一百度左右,这种又甜又冷的冰淇淋作风全行不通。 (P.13)

On strategy of Ch’ien art of characterization is making a group of ironic portraits for his characters, especially the ironic sketch of their appearance to show his intention. Here Miss Su has got a doctorate from Lyons and she pictures herself with a Chinese idiom “as delectable as peach and plum and as cold as frost and ice.” Peaches and plums taste sweet and ice feel cold, but the metaphor sounds ironic because people seldom compare one’s behavior to ice cream. Therefore, it is ironic that Ch’ien uses a novel metaphor “ice cream manner” to describe Miss Su’s aloofness and pride which fail to attract Fang. Miss Su is proud of having got a doctorate degree from Lyons and always shows off, but the irony is that she is found to have plagiarized a German folk song verbatim. After Fang knows the truth and writes a letter to show his appreciation of the poem, Su is portrayed vividly as an academic hypocrite. While Fang and others are on the bus to San Lu University: [2]这车厢仿佛沙丁鱼罐,里面的人紧紧的挤的身体都扁了。可是沙丁鱼的骨头,深藏在自 己的身体里,这些乘客的肘骨都向旁人的身体里硬嵌。罐装的沙丁鱼条条笔直,这些乘客都卷 曲波折,腰腿弯成几何学上有名目的角度。 (P.146) These people are onboard a bus. However, passengers are too many to stand in a normal way. They must pose much interesting and strange gesture in this bus. Ironically, the author uses the simile of “a sardine can” to overstate the crowdedness of the bus. Moreover, he makes two vivid comparisons between the shape of sardine and gesture of the people, which sarcastically discloses the poor
33

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

transportation conditions.

4.3.2 Adapting to Nonverbal Factors
According to Cambridge Linguistics Encyclopedia, nonverbal communication refers to “the communicative use if the visual and tactile modes” in academic discussion, and in everyday terms, it is the area of “body language”. In some cases, information is provided through gestures, the use of smiles, and even silence. Meaning is not necessarily contained in words, but is conveyed some non-verbal elements, such as posture or stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand gestures, clothing, etc. These nonverbal factors influence the effectiveness of the interaction. According to Giora (1995), some facial expression or behaviors are also informative indicators of ironic intention in addition to intonation. In this novel, the narrator depicts the characters’ facial expression to disclose their pretense or affectation. Talking with the professor Chao about a famous play, Miss Fan is shocked to find that he does not know anything about the play: [3]范小姐的惊骇的表情阻止他说出来是 “春天”, “夏天”, “秋天”, 还是 “冬天”。惊骇像牙医生
用的口撑,教她张着嘴,好一会上下腭合不拢来。(p.229)

Instead of the faithful and beautiful maiden, Ch’ien presents a gallery of women, none of them is desirable and some of them occupy only a minor role in the story, ranging from the crafty Miss Fan to the testy Miss Liu. In the matchmaking dinner, Miss Fan keeps up a tight conversation with Chao so as to establish an intimate relationship with him. However, she is very surprised to find that Chao, a professor in San Lu University, should fail to know Ts’ao Yu, a great Chinese playwright. So, Ch’ien depicts her shock with an exaggeration of her physical appearance--- facial expression, the metaphor of “a dentist probe” serves to portray Miss Fan as a pretentious woman. In this novel, Su Wen-wan is another woman around Fang. What is ridiculed about Su is her invalid endeavor to find a future husband. Though looking beautiful and elegant, Su is nature a malicious girl. She tries every means to win Fang’s heart. And her drive to secure Fang is misinterpreted by several crucial events. [4] (方)鸿渐没法退避,回脸吻她.这吻的分量很轻,范围很小,只仿佛清朝官场端茶送客时的把嘴
唇抹一抹茶碗边,或者从前西洋法庭见证人宣誓时的把嘴唇碰一碰<<圣经>>,至多像那些信女们吻西

34

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

藏活佛或罗马教皇的大脚趾,一种敬而远之的亲*。(p.95)

Ch’ien ironically describes Fang’s kiss when Su smiles triumphantly and encourages Fang in a foreign language to kiss her. The mechanical ring of “light” and “small “is quite appropriate, for the kiss is so insincere that it amounts to nothing more than formality. Fang’s supposedly affectionate gesture is therefore and ironic affirmation of the distance that exists between the two. Its association with the Q’ing Dynasty practice symbolizes dismissal and estrangement. Moments after this, Fang and Su say good-bye for the night and the intimacy is never repeated. In Fang’s heart, her love just is a heavy burden, when she devises a romantic scenario at a bright night to trick Fang into marriage. Comparing Fang’s behavior and the passion of Su, the reader is fully attracted by the ironical description.

4.4 Irony as Adaptation to the Social World
Verschueren notes, “There is no principled limit to the range of social factors that linguistic choices are interadaptable with. Most of them have to do with properties of social settings or institutions” (1999). The social world here refers to the social circumstances, communicative settings, and communicative norms that have to be observed for communicators. Communicative setting and communicative norms are influenced by culture. The social setting and institutions impose many types of principles and roles on the ways in which certain types of linguistic acts can be performed. In a written discourse, a narrator’s job is to lead the reader through the story by explaining events that have happened or by observing things as they take place. How well the narrator and the reader interact depends on the larger social context of the writing and reading process. Therefore, social reality plays an important role in their communication. In the literature work Fortress Besieged, though Ch’ien’s ironic narration, we meet different kinds of people such as defensive shopkeepers, superstitious country folk, hollow intellectuals, vulgar compradors and businessmen and so on. Also a great deal of sarcastic humor is created through the interplay of characters and their very different strands and assumptions.

4.4.1 Irony as Adaptation to Social Status
Being in a certain position, each man plays a certain role in society. That is what we usually say

35

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

about social status. People show their social status through language, dress and manner. As Mrs. Wang complains the boring school, principal Gao says: [5]“闷死人了,我可偿不起命哪!偿旁人的命,我勉强可以。汪太太的命,宝贵的很,我 偿不起。汪先生,是不是?”上司如此幽默,大家奉公尽职,敬笑两声或一声不等。 (p.235) Irony as a means of adaptation to the social world refers to the instances in the language user’s consideration of the social factors, such as the situation. Principal Gao and others are in Professor Wang’s home. Although principal Gao’s words is not humorous at all. Fang and others have to show their interests to adapt to the situation. Therefore, Fang and other people laughers on the surface to show their respect to their head , but their reaction actually is intended to satirize principal Gao’s bored and senseless remarks. Choosing this ironic behavior, Fang and others manage to operate a face-saving device for both at that situation. When Fang’s mother-in-law, Mrs. Zhou knows he has a new girlfriend, she is angry and orders her husband to fire Fang: [6]周经理软弱的摆出尊严道: “鸿渐,我告诉你别误会!你不久就远行,当然要忙自己的事,没功夫
兼顾行里------好在行里也没什么事,我让你自由,你可以不必每天到行。至于薪水呢, 你还是可以照支 ------”(p. 108)

Ironically, the author uses the word “softly shows his serious” to show Mr. Zhou’s complex mood: on one hand, Mr. Zhou is the manager in this bank; however, Fang is only one office clerk who works here depending on some special relationship. Moreover, Mr. Zhou is the eldership of Fang. On the other hand, Mr. Zhou originally doesn’t want to fire Fang. First, because the Zhous and the Fangs have a good relationship; second, because the daughter of Mr. Zhou has already died, Fang will sooner or later have a new wife and family. In Mr. Zhou’s heart, he doesn’t think that Fang has anything wrong. But that is the wife’s order, he has to obey. The word “softly” obviously shows unease in Mr. Zhou. Therefore, Mr. Zhou believes that he must keep his decency.

4.4.2 Irony as Adaptation to Superstition
In human community, although about half of it members are female, an androcentric language is used for both sexes. In other words, our language is centered on the male portion of the population. Especially in the old China, females hold a lowest social status: they cannot work outside, quarrel with

36

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

their husband, or join the political events… Sun, with Fang and Zhao Hsin-mei, goes to San Lu University. The bus is so crowded that Fang asks Sun to sit on the rice bag: [7]那汉子没法, 怒目打量孙小姐一下,把垫坐的小衣包拿出来,捡一条半旧的棉裤,盖在米袋上,算
替米袋戴上防毒面具,厉声道: “你坐罢!”(p. 162-163)

In old China, women were in the lower lever, and even considered as the inauspicious. The male farmer believes if the rice is sat by woman, it cannot be eaten. So at last, he put the pants as a “gas protection” on the rice bag. This behavior is ironic, because woman is not poison, and pants cannot protect gas. The farmer just put the “gas protection” on his heart. Ch’ien’s description satirizes the farmer’s ignorance and stupidity, even the whole society’s despicable attitude to women.

4.4.3 Irony as Adaptation to Culture
Social conventions play an important role in the choice of words and strategies in communication. According to Verschuren, cultural factors have influences on linguistic choice. Language and culture are closely connected with each other. Language is influenced and shaped by culture and meanwhile reflects culture. Language users live in this social world and have to conform to social conventions. [8]只有英文信容许他坦白地写 “我的亲爱的唐小姐”, “你的极虔诚地方鸿渐”。这些西方书函的
*常称呼在中文里就刺眼肉麻。他深知自己写的英文富有英国人言论自由和美国人宣言独立的精神, 不受文法拘束的, 不然真想仗外国文来跟唐小姐亲爱,正像政治犯躲在外国租界里活动。(p. 78)

Mr. Fang wants to show his love to Mrs. Su with letters. But he knows it is impolite and embarrassed to use some obvious passionate words. But that is the social convention to use these words in the English letters. The author uses the different conventions to satirize Fang’s cowardice.

4.5 Irony as Adaptation to the Mental World
In Verschueren’s view, the mental world activated in language contains the cognitive elements, that is, the conceptualizations of the social reality by which people can interpret social interaction. In this light, it includes many factors, such as personality, wishes, beliefs, emotions, intentions, and so on. Ch’ien Chung-shu, as a narrator, deliberately adopts ironic speech acts to cause a special effect in communication with his readers. His specific motivations or intentions play an important role in the

37

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

process of making linguistic choices. So, we will analyze the mental functions of ironic narration from this perspective. 4.5.1 Criticism to the Intelligentsia Ch’ien Chung-shu’s satire is broad and sweeping. Perhaps the fiercest satire is directed at the intelligentsia. In the following passages, we will come to meet some characters and see how ironies are applied to portrait their appearances, psychology and how their masks are strewn exposing their real matures. Among the pseudo-intellectuals, we will look at the cases of on Su Wenwan, Ch’u Shen-ming and Kao Songnian. Ch’u Shen-ming is a European-educated philosopher. The irony applied on the characterization of this ‘philosopher’ begins with an ironic sketch of his appearance: [9] 一个躬背高额,大眼睛,苍白脸,戴夹鼻金丝眼镜,穿的西服袖口遮没手指,光光的脸,没胡子也
没皱纹,而看来像个幼稚的老太太或者上了年纪的小孩子。(P.80)

[10] 褚哲学家害馋痨地看着苏小姐,大眼珠仿佛哲学家谢林的 “绝对观念”,像 “手枪里弹出的子
药”, 险的突破镜框,迸碎眼镜。(P.83)

In the philosopher’s portrait caricature the details of his appearance, described in specific terms, are spiritless and bizarre. By describing him as “an infantile old woman or an elderly child,” Ch’ien ironically suggests that like a clown, he is not just common and unattractive but grotesque. What’s more, the exaggeration of his attraction by woman indicates that he is lubricious. The strongest satire is his indirect bragging about his “professional” standing by explaining his relationship with Betrand Rusel, a quack philosopher. He writes complimentary letters to world renowned philosophers such as Henri Bergson and Bertrand Russell and uses their courtesy replies as recognition of his eminence as a philosopher. To this, Ch’ien adds the comment: [11] 天知道褚慎明并没有吹牛,罗素确问过他什么时候到英国,又什么计划,茶里要几颗糖这一类
非他自己不能解答问题。(P.87)

Here the narrator does not leave the truth unrevealed; he surprises us by apparently confirming a proceeding claim. The statement that Chu hasn’t lied is therefore seen to be true only in a strictly technique sense. For it is plain that Chu is indeed short of being truthful at heart. Here Ch’ien adopts the assertion of “Heaven knows” to multiply the impact of the mockery. The truly brilliant touch in

38

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

this passage is simply to demonstrate Chu’s hypocrisy. Ch’ien unleashes his biting satire on the academic setting and Fang’s fellow professors, while also critiquing China’s excessive adaptation of Western literary traditions. Here is an example of the technique of self-conscious narration similarly used to heighten satirical effects. Heading the list of academic charlatans is Kao Sung-nien, the president himself. [12] 三闾大学校长高松年是位老科学家。这 “老” 字的位置非常为难,可以形容科学,也可以形
容科学家。不幸的是,科学家跟科学大不相同,科学家像酒,越老越可贵,而科学像女人,老了便不值钱。

(P.181) Rhetorically, the narrator takes a great deal of delight in word for word play. His penchant for definitions is seen here. After giving a profound explanation of “old scientist’” in two ways, the narrator conservatively opts for “sloppy address.” Kao is therefore denied the like benefit of the doubt as to which image might suit him better; his high academic post not withstanding. The reason for this becomes clear in the following few lines: [13] 二十年前在外国研究昆虫学的;想来二十年前的昆虫进化成为大学师生了,所以请他来表率
多士。(P.181)

From the ironic narration, we may realize that Kao is not old at heart, and that it has been some twenty years since he last conducts research in his field of specialization. So, only one of the alternatives is left open then: he is a worthless scholar. In this section, he also creates with satiric humor many machinations at work in the intellectual subculture. For instance, the ironic comment, the ironic comment about Kao’s behavior in the interview is highly effective in its characterization of the politician-president. [14] 高松年直跳起来,假惊讶的表情做的惟妙惟肖。比方鸿渐的真惊讶自然的多;他没演话剧,是
话剧的不幸而是演员们的大幸------(P.187)

The portrayal of Kao’s calmness after telling a lie ironically shows that Kao is so worldly and skilled at dealing with people. Ch’ien employs the ironic comment to further disclose the hypocritical nature of these politicians. Ch’ien holds these pseudo-intellectuals up to the horoscope of his critical intelligence and finds them sterile and absurd, mean and pretentious, deceitful and corrupt. To be sure, narrator intrusion figures prominently in the success of the above examples.

39

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

4.5.2 Criticism to the Social Fad One primary target of his satire is the fad of studying abroad. Studying aboard has its roots in the Old Chinese concept of ‘reflecting glory on one’s ancestors.” In the imperial days, reflecting glory on one’s ancestors meant passing all sorts of local, provincial, and state examination. After the abolition of the examination system in 1905, the substitute was to study abroad. The narrator makes a strong satire about it through Fang’s ironic explanation to Miss Tang: [15] 小孩子出过痧痘,就可以安全长大,以后碰见这两种毛病,不怕传染。我们出过洋,也算了了一
桩心愿,灵魂健全,见了博士硕士们这些微生虫,又抵抗力来自卫。(P.75)

Ch’ien sarcastically adopts the comparison of studying abroad and catching smallpox or measles, thus indicating that studying abroad is not for the broadening of knowledge but get rid of that inferiority complex. And this craze of studying abroad continued until the liberation of the Mainland in 1949, by which time it had pervaded all levels of society. The sardonic narrator observes further that not only science students want to go abroad, but also students majoring in Chinese literature: [16] 学国文的人出国 “深造”,听起来有些滑稽。事实上,唯有学中国文学的人非到国外留学不
可。因为一切其他科目像数学,物理,哲学,心理,经济,法律等等都是从外国灌输进来的,早已洋气扑鼻; 只有国文是国产货土产,还需要国外招牌,方可维持地位,正好像中国官吏,商人在本国剥削来的钱要换 成外汇,才能保持国币的原来价值。 (P.8)

Going abroad to further one’s study of Chinese is, in itself, according to the narrator, absurd. Ch’ien surprises the readers by “justifying” the practice. The paradox he adopts is sarcastic. In spite of the superficial self-contradiction, the statement actually reveals something true. In 1930s’, China suffered foreign invasion and interior turmoil, which made Chinese people develop a blind admiration for the western civilization. Learning Chinese abroad was seen as a wise way to maintaining its original value. Ch’ien uses the comparison to portray a declination of the society. 4.5.3 General “Sympathy” with the Characters Despite Fang’s unattractiveness as a hero, Ch’ien sympathy is clearly with him, for Ch’ien feels a man is responsible neither for the evils the world puts in his path nor the weak nature heredity may have given him. Ch’ien has given us a real person, one with whom many of us can identify. Most notably Ch’ien familiarity with Western points of view has allowed him to integrate successfully the
40

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

omniscient narrator’s point of view with that of Fang Hung-chien. When Fang is pressured by his father and his father- in-law, Ch’ien muses, [17] 这一张文凭,仿佛又亚当,夏娃下身那片树叶的功用,可以遮羞包丑;小小一方纸能把一个人
的空疏,寡陋,笨拙都掩*鹄础(p.9)

Here the diploma is served as “Adam and Eve’s fig leaf”. Thus it is quite easy to understand Fang’s desperation in seeking to acquire a foreign diploma. Also from his following fate of this diploma, we can feel a great sympathy for Fang, as Ch’ien does. Shortly before Fang leaves for the interior, fang is eventually driven out of the house he is living in, and has no recourse but to stay with his parents. He exclaims helplessly with a monologue. Fang is refused by Tang, meanwhile he loses his job: [18]失恋继以失业,失恋以致失业真是摔了仰天交还会跌破鼻子!(P.110) The author likes his disgraceful homecoming to a “beaten dog” to show the psychological development of Fang. Implicitly the dog is served not only as a satire on his inability, but also a symbol of pity for his misfortune. Once settled at the university, Fang is unwittingly drawn into school politics. President Kao demotes him; his colleagues make his miserable; and his every word and deed is monitored and misinterpreted to his disadvantage. When Kao refuses to renew his contract for the next academic year, he feels ridiculously as if [19] 他像伊索寓言里那只没有尾巴的狐狸。 (P.262) Shameful and angry, he has to do noting but feel sorry for himself. What an awkward situation he is in! Obviously we may have the same feeling with him when such disgraceful thing occurs to us. In the last chapter, after quarreling with Sun, he wanders along the street and finds an old man with his basket of primitive toys peering into the window of a foreign bakery. He sadly links himself with the toys in basket: [20] 没人对他感兴趣,这也许就是找不到工作的原因。 (P.345) He is actually discarded by his family as well as the society. Undoubtedly the narrator tries to show Fang’s isolation. Fang is the man forever seeking attachment and forever finding that each new attachment is but the same bondage. The “besieged city”, which is discussed quite a few times in the novel, symbolizes this human condition. In a word, through Ch’ien superb realistic characterization of the personaes, what immediately
41

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

strikes us in these figures is their flesh-and-blood vitality. Whether humorous or serious, whether elaborately described or lightly sketched, nearly all of them are unmistakably and incontestable alive. Human nature, then, is what Ch’ien wants to portrait. It is endeavor to picture this human nature faithfully as he sees it. We, as the interpreters, enjoy a lot from his brilliant artistic narration. And, his narration well adapts to the interpreter and his mental world. 4.6 Ironic Narration as Effects on the Readers According to Verschuren, when making linguistic choices, the utterer should always adapt to his assessment of what the mental world of the interpreter looks like. In Fortress Besieged, Ch’ien selects his material from times, places and social classes familiar to him. He employs versatile ironic strategies to make his intention interpreted. Abrams (1962) points out that “The use of irony by a writer carries an implicit compliment to the intelligence of the reader, who is associated with the knowing minority not taken in by the literal meaning.” By use of irony, Ch’ien, as a narrator, create special stylistic effects to communicate with the readers and satisfy the readers’ needs. For example, there is an ironic narration about how the empty-minded Chinese students returning home aboard the Vicomat De Bragelonne amuse themselves. [21]船走的这样慢,大家一片乡心,正愁无处寄托,不知哪里忽来了两幅麻将牌。麻将当然是国技,
又听说在美国风行;打牌不但有故乡的风味,并且适合世界潮流。 (P.2)

In this example, the desirable effect of muting by irony is realized through the word “national pastime”. Usually, when people live peacefully and happily, mahjong, a pastime tool, can be played to amuse them. However, at this time, China, the motherland is suffering the foreign threats and internal turmoil. Mahjong, ironically referred to as “Chinese national pastime”, serves as a sharp tool to satirize the students’ empty mind. As readers, we are disappointed to see the inability of the so-called “talented students”. So, a satirical stylistic effect is created. In the following instance, the narrator’s wit bubbles forth in his description of Miss Pao. Miss Pao is the first woman in Fang’s romance. [22] 那些男学生看的心头起火,口角流水,背着鲍小姐说笑不停。 有人叫她 “熟食铺子”,因为只有
熟食店会把那些许多颜色暖热的肉公开陈列;又有人叫她 “真理”,因为据说 “真理是赤裸裸的”。鲍小 姐并未一丝不挂,所以他们修正为 “局部真理”。 (P.4)

42

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Readers cannot help laughing when Ch’ien places the flirtatious Miss Pao to a serious matter “truth”. The indecent exposure of Miss Pao provokes men students’ sexual imagination. Forbidden by social constraints, they clothed their “truth” with two modifiers “naked” and “partial” to express their morally unacceptable desires. Here, the author makes use of ironic narration mainly for humor’s sake, thus creating humorous stylistic effect. By creating different kinds of stylistic effect through irony, the narrator is not simple a private, individual narrator as the readers normally understand, but the connector between fiction and reality. In this way, the ironic narration will act as a prompt for the reader to access his or her assumptions and expectations.

4.7 Summary
Through investigation into data from Fortress Besieged, this chapter has found out, based on analyzing, that the author Ch’ien makes use of the ironic narrations as adaptation to the physical world, the social reality, and the mental world. Detailed analysis is provided for the adaptation processes. With great literary pragmatic power, Ch’ien exposes human nature and social faults and therefore Fortress Besieged has seized wide readership and won profuse acclaim.

43

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Chapter Five Structural Correlates and the Dynamic Process of Irony in Fortress Besieged
5.1 Introduction
Irony is a kind of pragmatic effect, but also the language form. The implication of taking irony as a strategy is that linguistic choice and the context of communication are closely related. Being a strategy of communication, irony relies on various linguistic structures to realize its functions. Since language use involves the entire linguistic phenomenon, linguistic choice-making operates on all levels of structure that show variability of any kind (Verschueren, 2000). The dynamic tension in the choice-making process helps to demonstrate the functions intrinsic to language itself, namely, how utterances get organized into a coherent whole to meet the demands placed on by the artistic requirement. This chapter has two purposes: first, the study will analyze the linguistic clues, and the discourse structural clues to demonstrate how a variety of ironic clues are consciously or unconsciously employed by the author and the characters to exert powerful effects upon linguistic interpretation. Second, the author will further explain the dynamics of linguistic adaptation.

5.2 Structural Correlates of Irony in Fortress Besieged 5.2.1 Linguistic Clues 5.2.1.1 Interjections and Tone of Voice

Interjections are words used to express strong feeling or sudden emotion. They are included in a sentence, usually at the start, to express some types of emotion such as joy, excitement and enthusiasm. Some interjections can also be used as ironic cues to show their disgust and contempt. [23]文纨如梦方醒,自惊自叹到: “哦,原来又是一位――方太太,你一向在香港的…” (P.280) In fact, Su used to know Fang very well and they have even maintained an intimate relationship for a short period. After she fails to win Fang’s heart, she still harbors anger and hatred upon him. Therefore, when they meet in Chao’s home, she deliberately utters with the interjection “Oh” to adapt
44

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

to her emotions. On the surface, the interjection indicates her surprise, but actually shows her dissatisfaction and contempt to Fang, achieving her purpose to insult Fang and Sun’s marriage. The tone of voice also can be employed to show the emotion. People could use lower pitch to express sadness and sorrow; and higher pitch to express anger, unsatisfaction or satire. [24] 辛楣冷笑道: “大家听听,方鸿渐方先生的一轮多透辟啊!他年龄刚二十八,新有过一次不
幸的恋爱经验,可是他看破了教育,看破了政治,看破了一切,哼!我也看破了你!为了一个黄毛 丫头,就那么愤世嫉俗,真是小题大做! (P.124) ”

Because Fang mocks Chao’s points about education and politics to show his disagreement, Chao makes a retort at once with a sarcastic tone. Also he stresses the word “penetrating” with a higher pitch to indicate his ironic intention. The nasalization word “humph” vividly shows his contempt for Fang’s cynic attitude toward life. Therefore, all of the methods make Chao’s utterance signals of ironic interpretation.

5.2.1.2 Emotional Attributes and Ironical Phrasing

This is the most obvious contextual factor to recognize irony with in the communication. If the speaker’s statement deviates from reality, an ironic interpretation of an utterance may be appropriate. The use of counterfactuals is perhaps the most salient contextual cues for ironic intention. In most cases, irony is frequently used to express a negative attitude toward objects. In Fortress Besieged, such kind of ironic clues are prevailing. We just give two examples to illustrate this point. [25]“方先生人聪明,一切逢场作戏,可是我们这种笨蛋,把你开的玩笑都得认真――”…“方
先生的过去太丰富了!我爱的人,我要能够占领他整个生命” (P.101) 。

Miss Tang is very angry and disappointed with Fang after her cousin maliciously depicts Fang as a sham and blackguard. So, when Fang comes to see her, she uses the contrast between “intelligent” and “jokes” to show her dissatisfaction toward Fang’s folly. Also the meaningful word “too rich” appears to violate the requirements of the quantity maxim. This word reveals her complaints about Fang’s lack of principles with woman. By conveying implicitly her sarcasm and reproaches, Miss Tang achieves in her intention of blaming Fang. Barbe (2000) concludes that irony as an attitude can be realized by a metaphor, an understatement, or by a hyperbole, all figures of speech. Colston and Keller (1998) points out that exaggeration and
45

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

understatement can be explained as degrees of contrast and that exaggeration expresses surprise more readily because one can exaggerate more or less open-ended. Detecting an ironic intention is to assess the degree to which a statement is exaggerated. This heuristic can be defined as this: the more extreme the statement, the greater the certainty of ironic intention. Also this novel carries a lot of exaggeration cues. When Hsin-mei knows that Fang will go to Shanghai from Hong Kong for marriage, and then come back for honeymoon, Hsin-mei wonders why not firstly to marry in Hong Kong, then to go to Shanghai for the honeymoon. Fang admits that is Miss Sun’s decision, Hsin-mei mocks at Fang: [26]“那么,你太 weak!”辛楣自以为这个英文字嵌得非常妙。 The word “weak” is used appropriately here: on one hand, Fang can’t decide to marry or not, and he just follows the wife’s order. This word refers to his flabby personality. On the other hand, “weak” also can mean the physical condition. Just as “the flesh is weak”, it implicates the “sex”. However, Chinese people are shy to say the words about sex directly. Hsin-mei uses the exaggerate adjective to show his satirize at Fang.

5.2.2 Discourse Semantic Structures
In most cases, ironic cues are not restricted to a single word or phrase. Instead, they may extend over the structure of the sentence. According to Verschueren(1999), language using does not need its own basic unit of analysis, since linguistic choice-making operates on all levels of structure that show variability of any kind. To investigate aspects of the meaningful functioning of language, therefore, the processes in question have to be situated with reference to specific structural objects of adaptability, including “structures” in the strict sense (at various layers or levels of organization). Ch’ien micro irony is also manifested through the adoption of structural irony to express the personality of characters. He employs various writing skills to emphasis the ironical effect, such as: the switching between codes, the arrangement of the entire turn-taking system, the changing of the word order. [27]鸿渐说: “身为先生,才知道古代中国人瞧不起蛮夷,*代西洋人瞧不起东方人,上司 瞧不起下属——不, 下属瞧不起上司,全没有学生瞧不起先生那样利害。(P.249) ” This is a description after Hung-chien becomes a teacher. First, he uses the two common

46

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

appearances in China and in the weat as the foreshadowing structure, which aims to show the following: people who are at the higher level look down upon the-lower-level people. However, the following are abnormal——“subordinates look down upon the higher level” and “students look down upon teachers”. The former through changing the word order shows “the lower looks down upon the higher” is worse in their relationship; moreover, this clause is a perfect transition, and it leads to the main point which Fang want to express——“students look down upon teachers” is the worst.

5.3 The Dynamic Process of Irony Fortress Besieged
According to Verschueren (2000), the central task of pragmatic analysis is to account for the dynamics of meaning generation. This dynamics can be ‘located’ in relation to the temporal dimension of language use (providing the raw material, other contextual dimensions, such as social relationships and structural properties of discourse). And it involves the use of strategies of language use which exploits the interplay between explicitness and implications in the generation of meaning. According to Barbe (2000), the context of the irony is the setting of its occurrence. This includes the participants, their relationships, and the cultural context as realized by participants’ norms and presuppositions, which in turn indicate potential areas of conflicts. The analysis of structural objects of adaptability in 5.2 has provided us with the basic tools needed to describe the locus of any instance or aspects of the meaningful functioning of language in terms of its linguistic coordinates. Therefore, in this section, we will examine the dynamic process of irony through the transformation of their relationships. When the relationship has changed, the change should be reflected in the language. Fang, as a hero, plays a dominant role in the interactions. Here we just focus on his interaction with Miss Su, Chao Hsin-mei, and Miss Sun. his relationship with them has ironically gone through a dynamic process of ironic transformation.

5.3.1 Changes in Discourse and Relationship between Fang Hung-chien and Su Wen-wan
Fang’s interaction with Miss Su has gone through three phases in which different ironic strategies are employed to adapt to their social world and mental world. The first phrase happens on their trip to homeland, Su expects to take the advantage of the trip to establish a close relationship with Fang, but she fails because of the intrusion of Miss Pao. After Pao

47

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

leaves, she tries again to reestablish the intimate relationship with Fang. So, when she finds Fang’s handkerchiefs very dirty, she jokes with him. [28] 上面的油腻斑点,怕还是马赛一路来留下的纪念。(P.24) “Souvenirs” usually refer to “a token of remembrance or a memento”, but Su humorously uses it to refer to the “grease spots” to make fun of Fang’s laziness. Her irony is realized by a joke to create a humorous atmosphere. Here, irony is employed as an intimacy-making strategy by Miss Su to adapt to her intention of establishing a romantic relationship with Fang. The second phase begins with Fang’s first visit after their return. As she has known Fang had already been engaged with a banker’s daughter, she is very angry, disappointed and even feels deeply hurt. So when Fang visits her, she makes a mocking complaint to show her dissatisfaction: [29] “方先生真神秘!…是不是得了博士回来结婚的?真是金榜题名,洞房花烛,要算得双喜临
门了。我们就没福气瞻仰瞻仰方太太呀!” (P.45)

Su feels deeply hurt by Fang for he has concealed his engagement, angry and disappointed, she uses the ironic utterance “you are really something!” to indicate that Fang is actually nothing. And she goes on with a tag question to satirize Fang’s fraud to acquire a fake diploma. After Fang tries to confirm her of the fact that he is innocent, she is satisfied. And they are on good terms again. Given impetus by her misinterpretation of several crucial events, Miss Su has regarded Fang as her future husband. Not knowing Fang gives her an unwilling kiss, she says with a smile: [30] “月亮这怪东西,真教我们都变成了傻子了。” (P.95) Here Su uses the word “fools”, not because they are really foolish. On the contrary, the word “fools” is just an expression of her excitement and shyness, which serves as an adaptation to her psychological motivation as well as Chinese cultural norms. Miss Su uses the irony to evoke a pleasant and romantic atmosphere. At the same time, as we mentioned above, every communicative event is influenced and constrained by the social norms of the society or culture in which one grows up and loves. Though an overseas doctor, she is brought up in China and influenced more or less by Chinese culture. In China, the cultural background assumption is by and large informed by Confucianism ---- the most prominent intellectual tradition in Chinese history. For centuries, within the philosophy of Confucianism, women have been considered subordinate to men and been encouraged not to be seen or heard publicly. However, she voluntarily asks Fang to kiss her, which makes her very shy. Therefore, in order to conceal her shyness and excitement, she takes the “moon”
48

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

as an excuse for their kiss. In the second phrase, with the change of their relationship, they adopt different ironic strategies to adapt to their real intentions and emotions, which also reflect the change of their relationship. In fact, not long afterwards, they have never been able to enjoy such kind of intimacy. The third phase takes place later when they meet again only once on a very unpleasant occasion. Though married, she still harbors anger, hatred and jealousy upon Fang. [31] 文纨问辛楣: “这位方太太是不是还是那家什么银行?钱庄?唉!我记性真坏――经理的
小姐?”(P.280)

She deliberately mistakes Sun as “manager’s daughter” with an excuse of her “dreadful memory” to ridicule and abuse Fang. Showing power is another psychological element to drive her to use irony. One of the important context aspects shaping the language user’s choice is the power relation. Barbe (2000) points out “The power relation especially if not built on culturally-induced factors like status, age money, or education, is situation-bound and subject to constant variation.” For she thinks Fang owes her a debt of emotion, and she has the power to mock him. Moreover, as a rich, beautiful and fashionable lady, she looks down upon Fang. In the third phase, Su uses the irony as a dissatisfaction-showing strategy to adapt to her emotion and power relation. Therefore, with the change of context, Su adopts different ironic strategies to adapt to her mental world, such as her strong personality and her sensitive emption and social world such as power. Their relations have also transformed greatly.

5.3.2 Changes in Discourse and Relationship of Fang Hung-chien and Sun Jou-chia
The transformation of the relationship between Fang and Sun is greatly dramatic but destined and occupies a prominent place in the novel. The dynamic process of their transportation is an ironic manifestation of the marriage, falling into three phases including their engagement in San Lu University their wedding in Hong Kong and their marriage disintegration in Shanghai. In the first phrase, Ch’ien describes Sun as one of the most common and most visible woman in our life. She is an unmistakable product of Chinese culture. Her marriage to Fang is both her highest success and her biggest failure. Fang is at first indifferent to Sun, but it seems quite plain to Chao that she is out to trap his unsuspecting friend. Taking advantage of Fang’s consternation, Sun initiates an

49

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

entrapping conversation in which she exerts upon him pressures of nonexistent gossip and fictitious inquiries from her father, then artfully turning two colleagues into witnesses. And soon this is made officially by an engagement party. But not long after that, her suspicion and jealousy are first shown in the following utterance. [32] “你希望的好葡萄在后面呢,我们是坏葡萄,别倒了你的胃口。 (P.263) ” Misinterpreting Fang’s meaning, she is so narrow-minded and sensitive that she links herself to the “bad grape” to show her dissatisfaction, which is also foreshowing their disintegration. She uses the dissatisfaction-showing strategy to make their relationship awkward since they are engaged. The disaster of their marriage is the result of a process, not a cataclysm, a process which has its origin characters. So, in the second phrase, their relationship begins to worsen. In Hong Kong, Sun unscrupulously shows her dissatisfaction with Fang for his intimacy with Chao and his cowardly behavior in front of Su. Behind her shy reticence will in time be seen an imperious will and oversensitive faculty for suspicion and jealousy. [33] “… 辛楣一来,就像阎王派来的勾魂使者,你什么都不管了…” (P.275) In example [33], Sun shows her dissatisfaction with Fang’s neglect of her. She is so prejudiced against Chao that she compares Chao to “a messenger sent by the King of Hades.” In China, “the King of Hades” is a religious word in Chinese mythology, referring to the lord of the dead and ruler of the nether world. Here it is metaphorically used by Sun to show her dissatisfaction with Fang’s intimate relationship with Chao. [34] “身体是回来了,灵魂恐怕早给情人带走了。 (P.284) ” [35] “看着你以前的情人糟蹋你现在的老婆,而且当着你的那位好朋友的面,还不称心吗?” (P.284) [36] “我太荣幸了!承贵太太的玉手碰了我一碰,我这只贱手就一辈子的香,从此不敢洗了!” (P.285) [37] “好宽宏大量!你的好脾气,大度量,为什么不留点在家里,给我享受享受?” (P.285) Feeling greatly insulted and bulled by Su, she flares with anger and makes ironically the above-mentioned utterances in the four examples. Also she is also jealous of Fang’s past with Su by referring to Su as Fang’s “former sweetheart” and “the great lady”. But what the focus of her satire is upon Fang. In example [37], with her derisive tone and outright indignation, Sun uses the “sweet
50

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

temper” and “generosity” to satirize Fang’s inability and weakness. What Sun says is due to her inner feelings. So, she makes the ironic remarks just to adapt to her emotions without considering saving Fang’s face, which more or less leads to the breakup of their marriage. The third phase is the worst stage. Once back in Shanghai, their relationships become worsened as their respective families enter into the picture. Instead of saving each other’s face or create a humorous or intimate relationship, Fang and Sun both use irony to pour out their own complaints, dissatisfaction, disapproval, scorn, warning, hatred and satire. What they utter adapt to their own psychological needs and emotions yet fail to adapt to the others’, which eventually lead to the failure of their communication. In the following passages, we will have a look at how they use irony to create special pragmatic effects respectively. On the first list is Sun. Sun cannot put up with Fang’s family at all, especially the old-style officiousness of his father and the ill-disguised malice of his sisters-in-law. Sparked by a series of petty yet infuriation incidents, and fueled by the interference of Mrs. Lu and an overprotective servant, their conflicts explode frequently. Having perceived that Fang is not the romantic dream necessary to her marriage, she decides to force that dream upon him her constant nitpicking. [38] “还有谁!你那里两位宝贝弟媳!” (P.310) [39] “你们方家真是世家,有那许多祖宗!为什么不连皇帝的生日死日都算在里面?” (P.312) In example [38] and [39], we can easily find that she is not satisfied with Fang’s family. She mocks at Fang’s sisters –in- law with the word “dear”; and she complains about the unnecessary formalities in Fang’s family with the “Emperor”.” Emperor” used to be a reputed founder of the Chinese empire. Here it is used as a sarcastic irony to show her boring and disgusting attitude. [40] “还有从此咱们井水不犯河水,一切你的事都不用跟我说。我们全要做汉奸,只有你们方家
养的狗都深明大义的。” (P.328)

When she fails to seek support from Fang’s father about Fang’s designation, she is very disappointed and angry with Fang’s father. She even feels humiliated by his father’s word “People like us must never seek petty advantages at the expense of justice and righteousness.” (P.343). therefore, she transfers her angry from Fang’s father to Fang. By self-depreciating her aunt and her as “Japanese collaborators”, she shows her anger, disappointment and sorrow. On Fang’s part, he tries many ways to make the necessary adjustments. But Sun’s Aunt Mrs. Lu, a vulgar missionary type of woman, exercises a preponderant influence over Sun. Mrs. Lu feels her
51

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

niece is mismatched and is openly contemptuous of Fang’s abilities and qualifications, which makes Fang very angry. So, when he cannot put up with them, he also uses the irony to mock Sun’s convulsive attempts to please her rich aunt. [41] 鸿渐发狠拍桌道: “那么你快去请你家庭驻外代表李老太太上来, 叫她快去报告你的阿姨。 ” (P.317) In this example, the exaggeration of promoting servant Li to “family representative Madame Li” is used by Fang to serve as a great satire on Li’s overprotective behavior. Fang, quarreling with Sun, stairs Sun using the past thing: [42] “是的,他真心要留住你,让学生再来一次 beat down Miss Sun 呢!” (P.324) When Sun taught in San Lu University she was bullied by the man-students. So, when they blame each other for their inability, in order to make a strong retort on Sun, Fang deliberately uses the students’ words “beat down Miss Sun” to mock Sun. In the third phase, they use the irony as a criticism-producing strategy to show their anger, disappointment, disgust, complaints, scorn, warning, hatred and satire. In fact, neither Fang nor Sun is evil. They are, in fact, on good terms when compared to the monsters we see elsewhere in the work. It is just both are passive. Though both are privately eager to reconcile, they cannot adopt an appropriate linguistic strategy to adapt to their way of speaking to each other. According to Verschueren (2000), aspects of physical, social, and mental reality get activated by the utterer and the interpreter in their respective choice-making practices, and that is how they become part of language users as elements with which the making of choices is interadaptable. The utterer’s personality, emotion; beliefs, desires, motivations or intentions can influence the choices he makes. And at the same time, when making linguistic choices, the utter should always adapt to his assessment of what the mental world of the interpreter looks like. Therefore, both utterer and interpreter should make adaptation to each other’s mental world.

5.4 Summary
Linguistic adaptability in communication includes structures in the strict sense (at various layers or levels of organization) as well as principle of structuring (Verschueren, 2000). Irony is realized through the language forms, but first and most significantly a kind of pragmatic strategy. By means of

52

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

irony, instance of the strategic avoidance of explicitness, the language user approaches his or her expressive and communicative needs. This chapter illustrates with enough examples that irony as a realization of linguistic reality is closely related to the structural objects, consisting of linguistic cues, and structural cues. By means of these ironic cues, the character or writer may have indicated his intention, thus achieving to establish the mutuality and fulfill their communicative needs. Therefore irony is considered not only as a comment or remark at a linguistic level but also as a complex communicative interaction between interlocutors, depending on contextual constraints and opportunities. Moreover, this chapter has enriched the application of Verschueren’s Adaptation Theory in carrying out an elaborate analysis to probe into how ironic utterance in Fortress Besieged adapts to contextual correlates in a dynamic way. And it has analyzed the functions of ironic utterances among characters and found that the characters adopt irony to show negative attitudes, enhance intimacy, create humor, maintain politeness and show power. With the dynamic transformation both of language and use of their relationship, the characters use different strategies to adapt to their psychological intentions and emotions, the social norms and social power.

53

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Chapter Six Conclusion
6.1 Introduction
Fortress Besieged, one of Ch’ien Chung-shu’s masterpieces, is considered to be among the best Chinese novels of the twentieth century and it has achieved immense popularity and critical acclaim in China and abroad. This novel has employed varieties of mechanisms of irony to expose human ugliness or social faults. Among the vast majority of criticism, many scholars focus on its ideological content, its theme or its rhetorical style from the perspective of literary criticism. Few articles concentrate on his ironic language arts from the pragmatic perspective. Pragmatics being a new branch of science, its application in literary criticism is timely and necessary. Irony, as a special language phenomenon, has attracted the interest of linguists, philosophers, psychologists, rhetoricians and other scholars. As a matter of fact, the nature of irony, the recognition of irony and the interpretation of irony involve very complicated cognitive process. The Adaptation-theoretical approach to irony tries to integrate cognitive, social and cultural elements into the study of pragmatics, thus providing a powerful approach to irony. The thesis has adopted the Adaptation Theory to make an exploration of the language materials, especially ironic speech acts in Fortress Besieged to find out how they accommodate to the physical world, the social world, and the mental world. Through understanding the dynamic processes of irony, the readers can discover what kind of personality the characters have, and how the themes and aesthetic effects are achieved and strengthened.

6.2 Summary of the Findings
The present study, which is both a theory-driven study and a data-driven study, is aimed at providing a more scientific explanation of irony as a result of linguistic choice used so as to help the readers to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the novel. So far, in the present study, we have got some important findings. First, it is proved in the study that the Adaptation Theory, different from the traditional accounts of irony, integrates social, cultural and cognitive elements into the study of pragmatics, thus providing a comprehensive pragmatic functional approach to irony. The use of irony in Fortress Besieged is
54

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

mainly based on four elements of adaptation: the linguistic structures, the physical world, the social world and mental world. The elements are what the ironists adapt to in the process of achieving their communicative goals. Secondly, we have adopted the methodology of the Adaptation Theory to precede an analysis of Fortress Besieged, to prove that a variety of ironic speech acts in this work can find convincing illustrations with the Adaptation Approach as the background. As a narrator in Fortress Besieged, Ch’ien uses a number of ironic narrations. As a result, the “ironical” interaction between the writer and the reader goes smoothly. Moreover, as a writer, Ch’ien creates some classical ironic conversations between the characters; have to show the various communicative effect of irony. Thirdly, through a detailed analysis of the functioning of irony, the readers can discover the interpretation of the Adaptation Theory in the analysis and illustration of the relationship between the style, theme and aesthetic effects in the novel. The paper affirms that the application of the Adaptation Theory in literary criticism, comprehension, interpretation and appreciation has a solid theoretical foundation and is practically feasible.

6.3 Limitation of the Study
Although the present study has made much effort in the analysis of irony in Fortress Besieged under the framework of the Adaptation Theory, there is no denying that something unsatisfying still exists in this study. There are still limitations owing to the inadequacy of the researcher’s limited resource of the relevant literature. Also with the lack of empirical support from more informants for some of the interpretations and analyses of the data under study, the study carries with it a little degree of subjective, which any study involving literature reading and interpretation is difficult to avoid.

6.4 Suggestions for Further Research
The present study has succeeded in making pragmatics an effective tool to analyze the linguistic phenomenon in literature. However, there is still much to do for the future studies in this field. In this final section, I offer some suggestions for further studies. To be of more help to a deeper and sounder understanding of novels with irony, more data from

55

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

different writers’ works should be collected. Moreover, the researchers should not only extend the method to other ironic novels, but can also adopt diverse theories to carry out an extensive and systematic study on other phenomena of literature language use. Second, cross-cultural studies can be done to compare irony by authors from different countries, for comparison makes a clear vision.

56

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

BIBLIOGRAPHY
[1] Abrams, Meyer H. “From A Glossary of Literary Terms”. Charles A, Allen & George D.[M].New York: Holt,Rineehart,& Winston.1962. [2] Abrams, Meyer H. (1988). A Grossary of Literary Terms. [M].Fifth Edition. Holt, Rinehart and Winstion.1988. [3] Attardo, Salvatore. Linguistic Theories of Humor [M]. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1994, 6:39. [4] Barbe, Katharina. Irony in Context. [M] Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.2000. [5] Booth, W. C. A Rhetoric of Irony. [M]. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.1974. [6] Brown, P. & Levinson, S. Politeness: Some universals in language usage. [M].Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.1987. [7] Ch’ien Chung-shu. Fortress Besieged[M]. Translation by Jeanne Kelly & Nathan, K. Mao, Foreign Language Education Press.2003. [8] Clark, H. & Gerrig R. J. On the pretense theory of irony. [J]. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 113:121-126.1984. [9] Clark, H. Using Language. [M]. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.1996. [10] Colstion, H. & Keller, S. You’ll never believe this: irony and hyperbole in expressing surprise. [J]. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 27: 499-513.1998. [11] Cuddon, J.A. A dictionary of Literary Terms. [M]. Andre Deutsch Limited.1979. [12] Dennis, Hu. A linguistic-literary of Ch’ien Chung-shu’s three creative works. [J]. The Journal of Asian Studies, 3:427-443.1978. [13] Dews, S., Kaplan, J., Winner, E. Why not say it directly? The social functions of irony. [J]. Discourse Processes, 19:347-367.1995. [14] Frye, Northrop. “The Nature of Satire”. In Charles A. Allen & George D. Stephens (ed.).1962. [15] Furst, Lilian R. Fictions of Romantic Irony in European Narrative, 1760-1857. London: Macmillan Press Ltd.1984. [16] Giora, Rachel. On irony and negation. [J]. Discourse Processes, 19:239-264.1995. [17] Grice, H. P. Logic and conversation. Peter Cole & Jerry L. Morgan (eds.), Syntax and semantics. [M]. New York: Academic Press.1975. [18] Halliday, M.A.K. Introduction to Functional Grammar[M]. London: Edward Arnold, 1985/1994.
57

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

[19] Haverkate, Henk. A speech act analysis of irony. [J]. Journal of Pragmatics, 14, 77-109.1990. [20] Hsia, C.T. A History of Modern Chinese Fiction. [M]. New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press.1961. [21] Hsia, C.T. The Scholar-Novelist and Chinese Culture. Andrew, H. Chinese Narrative. [M]. Plaks Princetion N.J: Princeton University Press.1977. [22] Husters, Theodore D. Traditional innovation: Ch’ien Chuong-shu and modern Chinese letters. Ph.D. Dissertation. Standford University.1977. [23] Joan, Cutting. Pragmatics and Discourse. [M]. Routledge.2002. [24] Kaufer, David. S. Understanding Ironic Communication. [J]. Journal of Pragmatics, 5: 495-510.1981. [25] Kreua, R.J. & Roberts, R. M. On satire and parody: the importance on being ironic. [J]. Metaphor and Symbolic Activity, 8: 97-109.1993. [26] Kreuz, R.J. & Sam, Gluckberg. How to be sarcastic: the echoic reminder theory of verbal irony. [J]. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 4: 374-386.1989. [27] Leech, G. Principles of Pragmatics. [M]. London/New York: Longman.1983. [28] Levinson,S. Pragmatics.[M].Cambridge University Press.1983. [29] Levinson, S.C. Linguistics,1979. [30] Mcghee, Paul E. Humor, Its Origin and Development of Humor [M]. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman, 1979:15. [31] Mey, J. Pragmatics: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishers, Oxford,1993. [32] Mry, J. When Voices Clash. [M]. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.1999. [33] Muecke, D. C. The Compass of Irony. [M]. London: Methuen.1969. [34] Muecke, D. C. The communication of verbal irony. [J]. Journal of Literary Semantics,2:35-42.1973. [35] Muecke, D. C. Irony. London & New York: Methuen & Co. 1970. [36] Muecke, D. C. Irony and the Ironic. London: Methuen, and New York: Barnes & Noble. 1982. [37] Murfin, Ross & Supryia M. Ray. The Bedford Glossary of Critical and Literary Terms. Boston & New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s. 1998. [38] Norman Knox. The Compass of Irony. London & New York: Methuen & Co.1972. [39] O’Connor, W.V. Irony. Preminger, A. Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics. [M]. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 1974. [40] Raskin, Victor. Semantic Mechaniams of Humor [M]. Lancaster: D. Reidel, 1985. [41] Pratt, M. Toward a Speech Act Theory of Literary Discourse. [M]. Bloomington: Indiana University
58

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

Press.1977. [42] Rew, Johnson Lois. Introduction to Technical Writing: Process and Practice. [M]. St. Martin’s Press.1993. [43] Sperber D, & Wilson D. Irony and the use-mention distinction. Cole P (ed), Radical pragmatics. [M]. New York, Academic Press, 295-318.1981. [44] Sperber, D. Verbal Irony: pretense or echoic mention? [J]. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 113:130-36.1984. [45] Sperber D, &Wilson D. Relevance: Communication and Cognition. [M]. Oxford: Blackwell.1986. [46] Straehle, Carolyn A. Teasing and conversational rapport. Tannen Ed, D. Framing in Discourse. Oxford University Press.1993. [47] Thomas,J. Meaning in Interaction. Longman Group Limited, 1995. [48] Utsumi, A. Verbal irony as implicit display of ironic environment. [J]. Journal of Pragmatics, 32: 1777-1806.200. [49] Van, Dijk. Pragmatics of Language and Literature. [M]. North-Holland Publishing Company.1976. [50] Verschueren, J. Pragmatics as A Theory of Linguistic Adaptation. IprA Working Document 1. Antwerp: International Pragmatic Association.1987. [51] Verschueren, J. & Marcella, Bertucelli-Papi. The Pragmatic Perspective. [M]. Amsterdam: Benjamins.1987. [52] Verschueren, J. Understanding Pragmatics. [M]. London, New York, Sydney, and Auckland: Arnold.1999. [53] Verschueren, J. Understanding Pragmatics. [M]. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.2000. [54] Wales, Katie. A Dictionary of Stylistics. London: Longman. 1989. [55] Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel. Berkeley and London: University of California Press. 1957. [56] Wilde, A. Horizons of Assent: Modernism, Postmodernism, and the Ironic Imagination.Baltimore and London. 1981. [57] Wilson, D. & Sperber,D. On Verbal Irony. [J]. Lingua, 87:53-76. 1992. [58] Yule,G. Pragmatics. Oxford University Pres, 1996. [59] 顾之川,解读围城 [M],京华出版社,2001。 [60] 何自然,于国栋,语用学理解—Verschueren 的新作评介 [J], 现代外语, 1999(4):428-435。
59

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

[61] 何自然, 语用学讲稿 [M],南京师范大学出版社,2003。 [62] 何自然,当代语用学,外语教学与研究出版社。 [63] 何兆熊,新编语用学概要[M],上海外语教育出版社。 [64] 何兆熊,语用学概论[M],湖南教育出版社。 [65] 胡范畴,幽默语言学[M], 上海科技出版社,1987:61。 [66] 钱钟书,围城,人民文学出版社,1947。 [67] 杨绛,钱钟书和他的围城,人民文学出版社,1947。 [68] 李建军,论小说中的反讽修辞[J], 中国人民大学学报,2001。 [69] 陆文虎,围城内外 [M], 解放军出版社,2004。 [70] 王进,贺凤霞,围城中跨语选择的修辞功能 [J], 语文学刊,2003,5:60-61。 [71] 吴其南,围城修辞论[M], 中国广播电视出版社,2005。 [72] 徐立新,A Study on Humorous Discourse [M],河南大学出版社,2003:15。 [73] 杨芝明,围城十年综述[A],钱钟书研究编辑委员会编,钱钟书研究[C],文化文艺出版社,1990: 266-267。

60

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to extend my gratitude to those people who have given me encouragement, instruction, and valuable suggestions in doing my research and writing this thesis. First of all, I am most grateful to my supervisor, Professor Hou Tao, for her comments and polishes on the early drafts. It is her profound knowledge and insight, constant strictness and kind understanding that assists me to finish this thesis as I have planned. Moreover, many courses she offered and the academic experience she imparted will benefit me for the rest of my life. I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to Professor Du Yaowen, Professor Hao Mei, Professor Zhao Anyuan and Professor Guo Aiping for laying a solid foundation for my acquisition of knowledge. During these three years, I have benefited so much from their resourceful knowledge, their kindness and generosity as well as their strict and conscientious approach to researches. Last but not least, I would express my thanks to my family who have kept me going with their patience, understanding, encouragement and support, without that it is out of the question for me to complete this short paper during the expected period of time.

61

太原理工大学硕士研究生学位论文

PUBLISHED PAPERS

《礼貌原则在中西文化中的应用差异》 ,山西高等学校社会科学学报,第二十卷,增刊,2008。

62




友情链接: