Chapter One Introduction
1.1 Research Background
Since first noticed by some scholars and philosophers from Aristotle time, empathy has been extended, advanced and applied into many disciplines. Robert Vischer (1873) first coined the term “Einfühlung”, meaning “feeling into” in English. In recent years, the notion “empathy” has been studied by numerous scholars in many different fields, such as aesthetics, psychology, sociology and so forth. Kuno (1987) introduced the concept of empathy into linguistic research. After that, He Ziran (1991) coined the term of pragmatic empathy, and studied pragmatic empathy from the angles of pragma-linguistics and social pragmatics.
In daily interaction, the use of pragmatic empathy is ubiquitous. When used appropriately, it can improve both the expressive force and the communicative effect of language through making utterances more natural, decent and polite. Furthermore, it can aid communicators to properly express their emotions and thoughts, thereby helps maintain a good relationship and achieve the communicative goals effectively.
Since April, 5, 2014, the public welfare TV program Waiting for Me, has been released on China Central Television (CCTV) 1 nearly every week. It has managed to realize the reunion of more than 1,100 families and has gained a huge popularity among the public.
1.2 Research Purpose and Significance
In daily life, empathy is used consciously or unconsciously in interpersonal interactions. Though a great number of researches have been conducted from many perspectives, the previous studies of empathy mainly appear in three aspects: aesthetics, psychology, and sociology (Lipps, T. 1903; Titcherner, E. 1924; Rogers, C. R. 1959; Eisenberg, N. & Strayer, J. 1987; Cohen, D & Strayer, J. 1996; Harre, R. 1983; Hogan,T. 1961; Pigman, G. W. 1995). But now, it has attracted a large number of linguists to explore it in new fields. From reviewing the previous studies of pragmatic empathy, it can be seen that pragmatic empathy has been examined in many linguistic fields such as intercultural communication, translation, language teaching, etc. (Brown, 1987; Zhang Jun & Miao Xingwei 2004; Zhang Juwen, 2007; Shi Chengwei & He Yi, 2009; Ni Tingting 2004; Li Dongying, 2007; Shen Guilan, 2013). Moreover, many scholars and linguists (Gao Yongchen, 2005; Huang Xianghui, 2008) have come up with some language devices of pragmatic empathy such as address forms, deixis, vagueness, euphemism, hedges, indirect speech act, etc. in order to do a more thorough research. As in this thesis, the realizations of pragmatic empathy in Waiting for Me will be studied, too.
Chapter Two Literature Re