Chapter published in:“Self” in Language, Culture, and Cognition
[Cognitive Linguistic Studies in Cultural Contexts 10] 2019
► pp. 38–57
Presenting the flawed self
Chapter 3 examines lexicons of the self which mark the target aspects of the individual self. Self-markers include ziji ‘self’, the reflexive pronoun wo ziji ‘myself’ that combines singular self-referential pronoun wo ‘I’ and ziji ‘self’, the reflexive pronoun ni ziji ‘oneself’ which contains the impersonal self-reference using the second person singular ni ‘one’. These self-markers indicate the ways in which speakers position themselves with regard to others. This chapter starts off with an discursive analysis of self-evaluative remarks where self-markers are deployed. Then it goes on discussing the interviewed Chinese immigrants’ unique way of reflecting upon independence and individuality through constructing the flawed self. The flawed self liberates the speakers in a sense that it allows people to communicate private thoughts to the public without worring about any potential breach of socio-cultural norms.
Keywords: self-markers, wo ‘I’, ziji ‘self’, ni ‘one’, the flawed self