M.A. - East Asian Languages and Literatures (Chinese)

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    The Priming Effect of English Subject-Predicate on Chinese Topic-Comment in English to Chinese Translation
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2016], 2016-05) Olson, Cheryl
    Translators must constantly decide to what extent they will adhere to syntactic and semantic elements of a source text, and weigh how their decisions might alter the idiomaticity of the target text. This study is concerned with how and to what extent structural priming affects translators’ decision-making processes in English to Chinese translation. Topic-comment constructions were found to make up 50.3% of all sentences in this study. Two experiments tested whether English subject-predicate primes reduce the percentage of topic-comment sentences used by native-Chinese speakers when translating into Chinese, and whether deliberate use of topic-comment constructions in English increases the percentage of topic-comment sentences used. The experiments also tested what variables determine successful use of topic-comment ratios. English subject-predicate primes in Experiment 1 reduced participant use of topic-comment constructions by 23.5% compared to the norm. Topic-comment primes in Experiment 2 increased participant use of topic-comment constructions by 38.2% compared to Experiment 1. It was found that closeness in relationship between interlocutors and sentences motivated by pragmatic intent of criticizing, giving counter/supporting arguments, comparing, emphasizing, and persuading are associated with higher percentages of topic-comment construction in discourse. Analysis of the results indicated that translators’ metalinguistic awareness and the ability to functionally separate their languages are likely responsible for successful ratios of topic-comment constructions to other constructions.
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    The Many Meanings of a Missing Character: Multiple Discourses of Chineseness and Chinese Identity in Wayne Wang's Films
    ([Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [May 2015], 2015-05) Landzberg, Judah
    This thesis highlights a method of representation that is critical of both images of Chinese powerlessness and images of Chinese power. In Chan is Missing and The Princess of Nebraska, two films by Chinese American director Wayne Wang, representations of Chineseness and Chinese identity are always determined through the discursive context in which they are enunciated. The films each employ the device of a missing subject, in order to show that its meaning does not refer to the subject itself but rather is determined through the context in which it is talked about. This creates different and often conflicting versions of the same subject, which can only be resolved by seeing that the subjects of Chineseness and Chinese identity are always a response to the contexts out of which they are discussed.
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    An investigation of written Taiwanese
    ( 2005) Ota, Katsuhiro J.
    Taiwanese is the language that has the largest number of native speakers on the island of Taiwan. However, the use of the language had been politically suppressed in the past hundred years, the first fifty years by a Japanese colonial government and the second fifty years by a Nationalist government from China that had been ousted by the Communists. With the recent democratization of Taiwan, Taiwanese has steadily been gaining official recognition in many public domains. In this paper, I will use the term Taiwanese to refer to the varieties of Southern Min languages spoken on Taiwan, since Tai-oan-oe (lit., Taiwanese) is the most common term used by Taiwanese speakers to refer to their own native language. Written Taiwanese, however, is still in the process of being standardized. The current situation somewhat resembles that of the early stages of the standardization process for written Japanese in the mid-nineteenth century, during the Meiji Restoration. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the problems pertaining to standardization of written Taiwanese. In Section One, I will provide an overview of the current language situation in Taiwan. In Section Two, I will investigate the history of written Taiwanese and its current status. I will provide a detailed discussion of Church romanization and other romanization methods, and the method of writing exclusively with sinographs. In Section Three, I will discuss the merits and drawbacks of different systems for writing Taiwanese. I will also argue for the importance of teaching some type of romanization in elementary education in order to successfully implement any kind of standardized written Taiwanese. Even though written Taiwanese has a history of at least a century, production of texts written in it has been limited to certain groups of people such as people in the church community, Taiwanese opera (koa-a-hi) singers, and those who write and sing Taiwanese pop songs. Therefore, the general public is not aware of the availability of the full range of writing system options mentioned above. People are only familiar with the near-exclusive use of sinographs broken up by the occasional use of National Phonetic Symbols, popularly known as bo-po-mo, which are used to teach Mandarin in elementary schools throughout Taiwan. Under normal circumstances, people do not read materials published in Taiwanese. One of the major exceptions is the lyrics of Taiwanese language pop songs, found in the inserts of music tapes, compact discs, and karaoke displays. In Section Four, I will report on a study of the use of sinographs in Taiwanese song lyrics, and will provide the results of the study. I will give examples of the most popular strategies for writing Taiwanese using sinographs. Finally, I will provide some suggestions for the standardization of written Taiwanese.