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Dr. Winnie Chor

B.A. (HKU), MPhil. (HKU), Ph.D. (SydneyU)

Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature

Funding:

  • Research Grant Council (amount sought: HKD 666,421)

Introduction of the project:

  • All languages have their own means to convey meanings of various kinds, indicating different shades of the speaker’s moods and perspectives (e.g. how the speaker evaluates a certain situation, how evident the speaker’s conclusion of a situation is, etc.). Knowing how to interpret a speaker’s subjective stance is vital in human communication. When we interact with other people, we need to understand not only the word meaning, but also what the speaker is trying to say – we constantly need to recognize a speaker’s intention, attitude, and state of mind. Based on data from historical and contemporary corpora, natural conversations and interviews, this study has uncovered the wide range of strategies that Cantonese speakers employ to indicate their attitude, including various lexical and grammatical means. These findings from the current study not only have complemented prior studies which have been predominantly done in relation to the evidential system, but also have important implications for cross-linguistic comparisons. This project’s findings also have clear social, political and economic value, for they will indicate to us how speakers might make use of different strategies to position themselves in a range of discourses, including political debates, workplace conversations, or daily interactions which include negotiations.