Deception has permeated into every corner of life. It exists not only in daily communication, but also in the dialogues in some literary works. This thesis aims to analyze the pragmatic effects and strategies of deception in Three Kingdoms. On the one hand, the analysis of deception enables us to have a better understanding of the implied meanings and the artistic charm of the classic works. On the other hand, the analysis of deception in literary works can also deepen our understanding of relevant linguistic theories.
Deception is defined differently by different scholars. Some scholars such as Krauss，Coleman，Kay respectively give their definitions to deception. But they confuse deception with lying. Then Galasinski gives us an authoritative definition of deception. He considers deception as “a communicative act that is intended to introduce in the addressee a particular belief, by manipulating the truth and falsity of information.” In this thesis the author adopts the definition of deception as “a successful or unsuccessful deliberate attempt, without forewarning to create in another belief, which the communicator considers to be untrue.”
As the definition of deception implied, we find that deception is a deliberate attempt made by people, hoping to achieve some purpose. That is to say deception is frequently employed as a pragmatic strategy to achieve some pragmatic effects and has good effects on smooth and fluent interaction.
Being able to make good use of different communicative strategies is part of one’s communicative competence or pragmatic strategy. Communicative or pragmatic strategy is a term often used in pragmatics, referring to interactional participants’ solutions to multiple conflicting goals. Deception here is regarded as a communicative or pragmatic strategy.
Because deception is “embedded in our daily life, it is not always easy to recognize. Deception takes a variety of forms and can be divided into different kinds according to different categories.
Many scholars have put forward their classification of deception. Anolli describes three types of deception: “concealment, falsification and distortion”.
Besides, many scholars have made great effort to explore deception in different fields.
The explosion of deception literature traced its back to the medieval period and during the 1980s and 1990s the explosion of deception developed quickly which was caused by growing awareness of the scholars. And scholars home and abroad have explored deception from different perspectives. Generally speaking, they view this phenomenon in the ensuing ways: the study of deception from ethnical field; the study of deception from psychological standpoint; the study of deception from the developmental psychological stance; the study of deception from logical angle; and the study of deception from linguistic perspective. Furthermore, great achievements have been made by the above studies. However, there still exist some gaps ignored by the studies.#p#分页标题#e#
The earliest study of deception can be traced back to the medieval period. At that time, the studies of deception mainly concentrated on the ethnic field. And deception is distained and rejected both in western and eastern countries. Some scholars such as Augustine mentioned the classification of deception. Later, philosophers like Immanuel Kant again adopted against stance towards deception. From the ethnical angle, deception is indeed immoral and deserves resistance. However, in reality blindly emphasizing the necessity of deception and denying the existence of deception is unilateral and unrealistic.
In the past half century, there was a soaring attention attached to deception. Most of them are within the scopes of psychological field. The studies in the psychological fields pay attention to the detection of deception. In general, the fruits of the psychological studies of deception meet the need of society. However, few comprehensive psychological theories have been put forward to explain deception. Moreover, these studies can not make good description to the language of deception.
The studies in the developmental psychological fields are mainly concerned with the children’s cognitive development of deception. For example, Xufen, JIngChunyan, LiuYing once pointed out that the age of 3 to 4 is the turning point for a kid to understand deception. It is not until 9 years old that children will judge deception by talking the motives and context into consideration.
The studies of deception in the logical fields are chiefly made by scholars home. They classify different kinds of deception and finding that there are three types of deception existing in Chinese. However, few studies have devoted to investigating the whole process of deception.
In general, the above studies from different angles are static descriptions of deception. But we can not deny a fact that the usage of deception is a dynamic process. And following, scholars get down to studying deception in a new angle. That is the studies of deception from linguistic perspective.
Many scholars have devoted to the study of deception from linguistic angle. Generally speaking, the study of deception from the linguistic perspective is more advanced in western countries. And of the studies from the linguistic point of view, the study from the pragmatic angle provides solid foundation for this thesis. For example, Grice’s Cooperative Principle, Austin’s Speech Act theory, prototype theory proposed by Rosch, Jef Verschuren’s adaption theory all play an important role in the study of deception.
The studies of deception from pragmatic perspective make up for the deficiency of static descriptions of deception. Grice in 1975 put forward the Cooperative Principle. The cooperative Principle is a principle of conversation, stating that participants expect that each will “make the conversational contribution such as is required, at the stage at which it occurs, by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange”. Grice believes that the assumption of cooperation can be elaborated in four sub-principles called maxims including quality; quantity, relation and manner: 1. Quality Maxim: Try to make your contribution one that is true. Do not say what you believe to be false. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.2.Quantity Maxim: Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange).Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.3.Relation Maxim: Be relevant.4. Manner Maxim: Be perspicuous. Avoid obscurity of expression. Avoid ambiguity. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).Be orderly.”#p#分页标题#e#
And it emphasized the importance of the maxim of Quality. He believes that the speaker who violates Quality of Maxim is lying and lying is a moral offence. However, there exists a lot of deception in language interactions and Cooperative Principle can not explain it forcefully. Then, Leech put forth the Politeness Principles (PP) with the intention to ‘rescue’ Grice’s Cooperative Principle (CP). He held that people use deception in consideration of politeness.
His PP is further categorized into six main maxims, which go in pairs as follows:
1) Tact Maxim;
(a)Minimize cost to other [(b)] Maximize benefit to other;
2) Generosity Maxim;
(a)Minimize benefit to self [(b)] Maximize cost to self;
3) Approbation Maxim (in expressive and assertive);
(a)Minimize dispraise of other [(b)] Maximize praise of other;
4) Modesty Maxim (in expressive and assertive);
a) Minimize praise of self [(b)] Maximize dispraise of self;
5) Agreement Maxim (in assertive); a) Minimize disagreement between self and other [(b)] Maximize agreement between self and other
6) Sympathy Maxim (in assertive).
The most adequate illustration of deception from the pragmatic angle stems from He Ziran and Zhang Shuling in domestic. They view this phenomenon from the angle of adaption theory. According to Jef Verschuren, using language must consist of the continuous making of linguistic choices, consciously or unconsciously. The choice of deception is to adapt to the mental, social or physical world of the speaker or the listener. Though the studies of deception of the two scholars from pragmatic perspective is comprehensive, they ignore deception in pragmatics is a strategy. And the use of deception is not just out of politeness, their interpretation is not systematic.
It is Qian Guanlian who first studies the topic of true and false speech. He classified the false information into two kinds: profitable false speech and functional false speech. The former consists of “false speech to injure others” and “false speech to benefit others”. In the article “False Information”, Professor Qian classifies the deceptive information into beneficial or harmful false information, and functional false information). The false information which is used to deceive the addressee deliberately is called beneficial or harmful false information. Falsity in the beneficial or harmful false information is not known to the addressee. Professor Qian further classifies it into two kinds: beneficial false information and harmful false information. The false information which is controlled under certain background and can be used to achieve some special effects is called functional false information. All in all, Qian’s False Information is helpful in improving the understanding of deception.
Actually, the linguistic study of deception is still on the infant stage. Compared with the researches made by foreign scholars, the researches made by Chinese scholars are still not enough.#p#分页标题#e#
In addition, most of the studies from the linguistic perspective concentrate on the pragmatic, semantic or cross-cultural fields both at home and abroad. In general, linguistic studies of deception are fragmentary and no comprehensive theoretical framework has been evolved to explain deception fully. What’s more, few probe deception from the pragmatic strategy perspective. It is of great importance to notice that deception can be helpful to achieve specific pragmatic effects, both as a means of communication and also as a way of expressing personal information. In this case, it was of necessity to approach deception from the pragmatic angle. One problem deserves our attention is that domestic studies of deception is disadvantaged compared with the overseas studies with excessive focus diverted to the morality of deception. It was not until 1980s that the linguistic study of deception emerged at home. Therefore, the study of deception based on empirical evidences from the sociolinguistic perspective is not only meaningful but also vital and urgent. Besides, few scholars integrate deception with Chinese traditional works to analyze its pragmatic effects.
As a pragmatic strategy, deception is frequently used to achieve certain effects in our daily conversations. Different kinds of deception in certain context can cause different effects. Deception can be classified into beneficial false information and harmful false information according to Qian’s False Information Theory（Zhang, 2006:8）.Beneficial false information means that the deception we use is beneficial to others; harmful false information means that the deception we use is harmful to others.
However, deception occurred in daily life is not given the same attention. Comparatively speaking, the research of it conducted in pragmatic and sociolinguistic field is even more backward.
In this paper, deception is considered as a communicative strategy. The author analyzes deception from a dynamic perspective. This will deepen the understanding of deception in daily communication. The previous papers mainly analyze deception in terms of its adaptability, but they do not make a detailed analysis of its pragmatic strategies and effects. The previous studies have laid a solid foundation for further study of deception. We should absorb constructive ideas and make up for the deficiency of the past studies. Based on the past researches, the study of deception could be more comprehensive. This thesis tries to overcome the deficiencies of previous studies and to analyze the pragmatic strategies and effects of deception in detail. So this thesis tries to adopt one of Chinese traditionally classic works--- Three Kingdoms to analyze deception in this novel and study how pragmatic effects are achieved by using deception, so as to further our understanding of the novel and promote combinations of literary works with linguistics theories.
In one word, taking a pragmatic perspective, this thesis makes an analysis of deception as a pragmatic strategy and summarizes its pragmatic effects. This study may shed light on the investigation of deception in natural language.#p#分页标题#e#
Chapter 1 General Introduction
1.1 The Purpose of the Thesis
1.2 Type of Research and Hypotheses
1.3 The Possible Difficulty or Problem and Solution
Chapter 2 Theoretical Framework and Literature Review
2.1 Definitions of Deception
2.2 The Classification of Deception
2.3 Literature Review
2.3.1Qian Guanlian’s False Information Theory
2.3.2 The Cooperative Principle by Grice
2.3.3 The Politeness Principle by Leech
Chapter 3 Methodology
3.1 Data Collection
3.2 The Cooperative Principle
3.2.1 Violation of the Maxim of Quality
3.2.2 Violation of the Maxim of Quantity
3.2.3 Violation of the Maxim of Relevance
3.2.4 Violation of the Maxim of Manner
3.3 The Politeness Principle
3.3.1 Violation of the Tact Maxim
3.3.2 Violation of the Generosity Maxim
3.3.3 Violation of Other Maxims
Chapter 4 A Pragmatic Study of Deception
4.1 A Brief Introduction to Three Kingdoms
4.2 Pragmatic Strategies of Deception
4.2.1 Misrepresentation of Information
4.2.2 Withholding True Information
4.3 Pragmatic Effects of Deception
4.3.1 Improving the Appropriateness of Utterances
4.3.2 Improving the Interpersonal Relationship
Anolli, L, Balconi, M. and Ciceri, R. Say Not to Say: New Perspectives on Miscommunication [M].Amsterdam：IOS Press, 2001:78.
Galasiski，D. The Language of Deception: A Discourse Analytical Study. California: Sage, 2000:20-32.
Goffman, E. Where the Action Is [M].London: Penguin, 1969:3-9.
Gu Yueguo. Politeness phenomena in modern Chinese [J].Journal of Pragmatics, 1990. (14):237-257.
Leech, G. Principles of Pragmatics [M].London: Longman, 1983.
Levinson, S. Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.
Verschueren, J. Understanding Pragmatics [M].Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 1999:9-108.
Zhang Shuling. A Pragmatic Study of Deception as a Strategy in Verbal Communication: An Adaptation-based Approach. Ph.D. Dissertation .Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, 2006.
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