The Use and Discourse-Pragmatic Function of wo buzhidao in Naturally Occurring Mandarin Chinese Conversation
Lee, Jee Won. 2017. “The Use and Discourse-Pragmatic Function of wo buzhidao in Naturally Occurring Mandarin Chinese Conversation”. The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea 25(1). 167~192. This study investigates several aspects of Chinese (wo) buzhidao using both qualitative and quantitative methods, including its distributional properties and discourse-pragmatic functions in conversational contexts. This study has found that (wo) buzhidao occurs in conversational environments other than in reply to information questions and carries more interactive and social implications than had been previously proposed by previous studies. First, (wo) buzhidao marks the speaker’s uncertainty and concerns about the truth of the proposition expressed. Second, (wo) buzhidao constructs the speaker’s neutral position by disattending opinions, assessments, or troubles. Third, (wo) buzhidao avoids an explicit disagreement. The use of (wo) buzhidao as a stance marker allows the speaker to convey his/her consideration for the hearer’s face, and it can help to achieve a range of interactional goals. Native speakers of Mandarin Chinese employ (wo) buzhidao in conjunction with other interactive strategies to organize their speech via their recipient enabling mutual intersubjectivity.