An Empirical Study on Zero Address Terms Among Chinese College Students

Fang GUO, Weiwei RAN, Xiaoli SONG


Chinese address terms are the basis of interpersonal communication. On the one hand, a conversation usually begins with address terms which play a important role. On the other hand, choosing different address terms represents the different tone the speaker wants to express. Therefore, accurate and appropriate use of address terms is one of the important symbols of successful communication. However, using zero address terms is still very common because we don’t know how to address appropriately in some occasions. This paper aims to study the common types of zero address terms usage among university students, and try to summarize the main reasons. This study is based on daily conversations of college students in four common campus scenes which are office building, study building, store and playground. The following findings are obtained in this study. There are five common types of zero address terms phenomenon. They are polite expression, personal pronoun, no expression, onomatopoeia and body language. There are three main reasons for using zero address terms. They are occasion, interpersonal purpose and social development.



Zero address terms; Causes; College students

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