Mandarin telephone closings among familiars
A comparison between natural speech and textbook dialogues
This study compared Mandarin phone closings among familiars in natural conversations with those in Chinese learning textbooks. The natural data was drawn from the CALLFRIEND Mandarin Chinese Corpus (Canavan & Zipperlen, 1996a, 1996b), while the textbook dialogues were extracted from 20 series published in the United States, China, and Taiwan. Based on Button’s (1987) framework, this article adopted corpus-based research to analyze the structural pattern and the linguistic features of closings. It found that Chinese phone closings generally consisted of much repetition and thus were more complex than the archetype Button proposed, which suggests that reaching a mutual agreement is essential in Chinese telephone closings. The pattern of a closing depends on whether the caller is calling to catch up with the recipient or if they have a specific purpose. Common tokens for initiating closings such as jiu zheyang, hao, and xing and relation-enhancing expressions were also identified. However, the current research revealed that most textbook dialogues except for unscripted dialogues do not reflect these characteristics. Therefore, this study argues for the inclusion of unscripted dialogues and instructions that direct learners’ attention to the conversational management of phone closings in Chinese learning textbooks.
Keywords: Mandarin telephone closings, Chinese textbook analysis, corpus-based research, Conversation Analysis
- 2.Review of literature
- 2.1Face and conversation closings
- 2.2Conversation closings in language learning textbooks
- 3.1Natural conversations
- 3.2Textbook dialogues
- 4.1.1Linguistic forms
- 4.1.2Structural patterns: Beyond a two-turn exchange
- 4.1.3Structural differences between chit-chatting calls and calls with specific purposes
- 4.3Closings in Chinese learning textbooks
- 4.3.2Linguistic forms
Published online: 17 August 2020
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Ministry of Education of People’s Republic of China
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