International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

A Relevance Study of Chinese Shuangguan
Jin Qiu, Ph.D.

Sperber and Wilson’s relevance theory (RT for short) is applicable to the interpretation of communication. Such being the case, quite a few linguists have assumed that RT can provide a good account for Chinese shuangguan processing. However, this theory alone does not satisfactorily account for the fact that addressees often very quickly draw the inferences necessary to arrive at intended interpretations without any noticeable effort. Furthermore, it does not systematically specify the nature of the inference patterns and their cognitive grounding. The present paper shows that a cognitive approach incorporating the notion of the impartment and inheritance of connotation and denotation (IICD for short) can be fruitfully applied to the analysis of Chinese shuangguan. Based on this notion, we propose a five-step hypothesis which serves as an amended framework of RT with the IICD approach. It is demonstrated that this amended framework can effectively elucidate the recognition and interpretation of Chinese shuangguan, and meanwhile, unfold a picture of addressees’ mental progress.

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