107 , 2018-03-20 , 北海道大学大学院国際広報メディア・観光学院 = Graduate School of International Media, Communication, and Tourism Studies, Hokkaido University
The present study aims to analyze the Chinese discourse marker zenmeshuo by procedural meaning. Briefly reviewing the notion of activation proposed by Wharton (2003, 2009) and the massive modularity hypothesis introduced by Wilson (2011), I propose that the “procedural meaning” of zenmeshuo activates the hearer’s epistemic vigilance module (Sperber et al. 2010). It helps the hearer to recognize the speaker’s uncertainty at some levels of speech production and facilitate further inference so that a higherlevel explicature could (but not necessarily) be constructed, with its reported functions, such as alleviation of the speaker’s responsibility, and euphemism, derived as side effects. I will firstly outline the theoretical background of procedural meaning. Secondly, I will review the previous studies of zenmeshuo and discuss their problems. Then, I will propose an analysis of zenmeshuo and show that the hearers’ cognitive mechanism can be better captured by the activation-based procedural meaning than by the constraint-based one.