Аннотация и ключевые слова
Аннотация (русский):
Термин «heteroglossia» происходит от русского термина «разноречие», которое означает различие в диалоге. В настоящей статье была применена гетерофоническая теория для анализа значения вьетнамских текстовых фрагментов в части опроса, статистических данных из 24 коротких рассказов, собранных в TruyệN ngắn hay 2019 (разных авторов). Рассматриваются категории «сужение диалога» и «расширение диалога», что дает возможность полагать, что гетерофонический подход способствовал выделению изолированных групп модальности предложений. В статье указывается на «необоснованность» гетерофонической теории в ее способности объяснить модальность фрагмента.

Ключевые слова:
разноречие, сужение диалога, расширение диалога, фрагмент, модальность
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1. Introduction

The fragment is a type of sentence that is unusual in many ways. This anomaly has attracted the interest of researchers throughout the years. However, despite being approached through different stages and schools for many years, the research results on fragments are constantly being updated and debated. However, they still need to be completed and convinced by the specialists. With the desire to explain the existence and impact of this type of sentence in the context in which it participates, we choose to approach the modality of Vietnamese fragments from the point of view of heterophonic.

The heterophonic view that emphasizes the modality's dialogic aspect can help us explain the types of meanings associated with sentence realization, the way to turn potential propositional content into utterances in communication. Sentences may lack definite sense, but cannot lack modality, so we expect that choosing the angle to view as the "Soul of the sentence" [1, p86] will help to understand more about a particular sentence, thereby continuing to take longer steps in the study of this type of sentence.

Therefore, in this article, we apply the heterophonic perspective and research results on modality to analyze modality (a sentence's meaning level) on survey data about a particular sentence.

2. Heterophonic perspective

2.1. The origin of heterophonic perspective

The term "" comes from the Russian term "Разноречиe" (raznorechie), coined by Russian literary analyst and linguistic philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin. The term comes from Greek, which means "difference" and "speech": èτepo + looo- + ia. Bakhtin used heteroglossia (raznorechie) in his 1930 essay [2] to analyze how meaning is created in fiction.

Accordingly, right from the beginning, "heteroglossia" attaches importance to the difference of dialogue, in contrast to monoglossia "моноглоссия - the identity of a language, understood as the possession and use of only one form of language by an individual (which is inherent in humans in the early stages of language development). For Bakhtin, "there is no word concerning how its object is single" [2, p 276], according to which Bakhtin argues: the sign-sign relationship (referential meaning) is due to Saussure posing only one dimension of meaning. The true meaning of language is fully revealed only in actual discourses.

Bakhtin's analysis has provoked discussions about the diversity of languages, the factors affecting the way of expression, and the content received in real communication situations. Following this view of Bakhtin (once considered "inopportune views"), Vyacheslav Ivanov, in Markism and the philosophy of language, shows an interest in the conversational nature. He posed the problem of situational, the elements of context, and surveyed communication forms with many different features to demonstrate that “The speaker cannot speak but separate from the social situation (defined as the communication between the equal factors), just as fish cannot live without water.” [3].

 Every statement in life… conclusion - belief in yourself, in addition to the part of the expression, and the part that is not expressed, but implied (the situation and the audience), without understanding the words themselves are incomprehensible"[4, p67]. From there, Voloshinov also began to argue about the conversational nature of speech.

In an article published in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, Vyacheslav Ivanov also mentioned this point of view: “There are implicit potential contradictions in the semantic potential of almost every word, and they have recognizable in everyday speech. [...] In a single speech, different attitudes can appear simultaneously.”[5, p100].

B. Bailey said, "The study of polyglotism can be a route to understanding the social world not because of formal linguistic differences between languages, but because of the inherent social and political nature of language." [6].

1.2. Heterophonic perspective according to P.R.R. White

With these origins, P.R.R. White proposed a heterophonic perspective in modality research in two papers [7] [8]. In terms of scope, P.R.R. White gives a comprehensive concept of modality. He considers modality a means for speakers/writers to express their attitudes towards different social perspectives or points of view. From there, the term "heterogeneous debate" was coined. First, P.R.R. White distinguishes utterances that use heterophonic expressive linguistic resources from 'single-voiced' declarations (with no indication of acknowledging alternative views or without awareness) on such views, explicitly or implicitly, in dialogue. This is similar to the view that Bakhtin calls the case of "non-dialogue" utterances [2, p 427].

PPR. White formulated terms to clarify the nature of heterophony and pointed out two broad categories of influence: "dialogue expanding" and "dialogue narrowing." With the category of "dialogue narrowing," P.R.R. White argues that "narrowing the dialogue" is represented by "announcement" and "denial." With "announcement," the utterance indicates that the speaker has personal "investments" in the point of view and that the speaker raises that point to refute the opposing point of view. With "denial," utterances indicate denying or challengingly confronting opposing views. Besides, P.R.R. White considers the category of "dialogue expanding" to be instances of phrases that suggest that differing points of view are interchangeable and that the difference between them is only of degree. This category has two types: "possible" and "assign."

With "possible," the speaker states a conditional opinion; that is, the view is only one of the possible possibilities.

2. Overview of fragments and the aspect of modality

2.1. Vietnamese fragments

The fragment is the object mentioned by many research on Vietnamese syntax with many different ways of identifying, defining, and classifying. The type of name itself has also raised the special and unusual characteristics of this type of sentence compared to other kinds of sentences in Vietnamese.

Ban Diep Quang says, "A special simple sentence is an architecture with a main syntactic center (possibly with additional syntactic centers), does not contain or imply a second syntactic center related to it. as the relationship between subject and predicate. [9]. Regarding structure: "Fragments are made up of a word or a phrase (except for the primary term - taste). Common types of words here are nouns and predicates (verbs, adjectives) [9]. From the perspective of functional grammar, Hao Cao Xuan conceives: "A fragment is a sentence without a topic-theory structure" [10, p83]. Thus, a fragment is not a partial sentence; the part displayed in the text is not a Topic or Theory because it does not represent a Theory of Topic of any proposition.

In Vietnamese Syntax, Hiep Nguyen Van determined that a fragment is a sentence type with a single core "made up of an IC" in classifying core types. The author also points out the characteristics of a fragment that cannot be analyzed according to the components of the sentence structure, like other common types of sentences. [11]. Thus, regardless of the angle of approach, researchers have always agreed that a fragment is a sentence with only one sentence core, that the core is composed of a main component, and that the role cannot be determined and cannot be parsed according to the usual syntactic structure.

2.2. Modality of sentences:

Many foreign linguists have debated the concept of modality at different levels of work. Researchers such as Lyons, Gak, Palmer, and Ch. Bally, N. Chomsky, Bybee… Interpretations that affect our opinion include Lyons saying that modality is "the speaker's point of view or attitude towards the propositional content that the sentence represents or the situation that the proposition describes"[12]. Gak believes that modality reflects the two relationships of the speaker to utterance and utterance to reality [13].

According to Palmer, modality is the semantic information of a sentence that expresses the speaker's attitude or opinion towards what is said in the sentence (Palmer F.R. 1986). J. Bybee understands modality in a broad sense as "all that the speaker does with the whole propositional content"[14]. Learn the classification of modality and the means of expressing modality with the contributions of some authors such as Jespersen, Von Wright, Searle, Ch. Bally, V. Bondarenko, J. Lyons, F. Pamer, M. Liapon. Linguists worldwide often distinguish cognitive and moral states (at different general and specific levels) according to objective and subjective aspects of speech acts.

2.3. Means of expressing modal meaning in a sentence

We also find that each language has various and typical means of expressing modality. We absorb the above points of view to systematize the means of expressing modal in Vietnamese fragments in three aspects: phonetics, lexical, and grammar as follows: However, Vietnamese is an isolated language that does not transform, so the means of modal expression are almost exclusively expressed in lexical and grammatical means of auxiliary nature. At the same time, the phonetic side is very faint, especially on text.

Lexical means are commonly used and essential in expressing modality in non-transformative languages such as Vietnamese. We agree with Nguyen Van Hiep's point of view on the system of vocabulary means of state expression, including 12 groups: Adverbs as auxiliary; Modal predicates; the propositional attitude; Modal locutions; Performative; Interjections; The modal particles; Evaluative predicates and evaluative combinations; Particles; Interrogative pronouns are used in negative-reject sentences; conjunctions are used in questions; Interlaced words indicating the modality; Types of conditional and subjunctive sentences. Of course, the system listed by author Nguyen Van Hiep above is universal; when examining a specific corpus, the possibility of different media types is distinct.

2.4. How to define modality from a heterophonic perspective?

According the point of view of P.R.R. White, "narrowing the dialogue" is represented by "announcement" and "denial." With "announcement," the utterance indicates that the speaker has personal "investments" in the point of view and that the speaker raises that point to refute the opposing point of view. With "denial," utterances indicate renouncing or challengingly confronting opposing views. Besides the narrow dialogue category, P.R.R. White considers the variety of "dialogue expanding" to be instances of statements that indicate that differing points of view are interchangeable and that the difference between them is only of degree. The category of "dialogue expanding" is of two types, which P.R.R. White calls "possible" and "assign.". With "possible," the speaker states a conditional opinion; that is, the view is only one of the possible possibilities. With "assign," the speaker indicates that what they are saying is according to a certain point of view as a point of contention among different points of view, whose authenticity depends on the reliability of the evidence or reputation of the speaker of that opinion.

3. Analyzing the modality of a Vietnamese fragment from a heterophonic perspective

Bakhtin once asserted that the meaning of the utterance is formed through the priority of the context [2]. Therefore, to apply the heterophonic perspective to analyze modality meaning of a fragment, we have surveyed and analyzed data from 24 short stories collected in the collection of Good Short Stories 2019 (many authors), Literature Publishing House, Vietnam.

Surveying 297 pages in the collection of Good Short Stories 2019, we collected 5259 sentences classified by grammatical structure with a total of 9 types of sentences, the number of fragments we have counted is 414, accounting for 7.87%. From the number of 414 fragments, we have identified the subgroups in the table below:

Table 1. Classification of fragment subtypes according to heterophonic perspective


Monosyllable sentence

Heterophone sentenc


No sign of modality

Have mood sentence

Dialogue narrowing

Dialogue expanding

The group of sentences is indeterminate whether it is dialogue narrowing or expanding













Percentage (%)








According to this table, there are the following observations:

3.1. Fragments are inherently a minimalist type of sentence, unable to identify the subject component according to traditional grammar as well as identify the topic and the theory part from the functional point of view. Therefore, the proportion of monosyllabic sentences that do not contain the means of modality expression according to Table 1 (27.6%). Among the proportion mentioned above of monosyllabic sentences, there are 6.3% of monosyllabic sentences from a heterophonic point of view, meaning there is no sign of defining modality. However, we believe that the formal structure, expressed in forms such as ending sentences with an exclamation mark (!), ellipsis (…), or question dot (?!)… all help readers have a basis for identifying modality. For example, the following sentences: (1) Sister?[34]; (2) Good or bad? [39]; (3) How long?[98]; (4) Today! [98]; (5) Father Hien, Father Hien![112]; (6) Mother Trang! [113]; (7) An! [149]; (8) Forty years![150]; (9) Cawcawcaw…[203]; (10) Queng… quack… quack…![215].

Structural signs in the above corpus may express surprise, anger, astonishment, doubt, or conviction about the content stated in the accompanying syntactic center. The appearance of these elements is entirely different from the representation of the existing content. The mere disappearance of the punctuation mark demarcates the boundaries in other monosyllabic fragments. That is also why we separate the monosyllabic part of the sentence with the sign of expressing modality through the formal structure into a separate classification group. Therefore, the analysis of modality of fragments from a heterophonic perspective needs to be more thorough.

3.2. In the group of heterophonic fragments, we classified 300 sentences with means of expressing modality, accounting for 72.4% of the surveyed corpus. Thus, initially, it can be affirmed that, from a heterophonic perspective, the fragment group with distinct modal meaning is the majority. This is entirely different from our original judgment when conducting this study. With its minimalist characteristics in learning, and semantics, fragments only appear with prominent components that cannot be omitted. However, in the structure that has just been radically reduced, there are still means of expressing modality, proving that the aspect of modal meaning is focused by the user in the process of choosing this type of sentence in communication. At the same time, it also shows that modality is a level of meaning that is expressed quite clearly in a fragment, regardless of the theoretical approach.

3.3. In the classification of heterophonic fragments, we find that there are 3 groups of subtypes, which are specifically identified in the following table:

Table 2. Classification of heterophonic fragments

Criteria for distinguishing heterophonic sentences

Dialogue narrowing

Dialogue expanding

The group of sentences is indeterminate whether it is dialogue narrowing or expanding

















From the table above, the two groups of oriented meanings of the heterophonic point of view, the heterophonic fragments in the direction of dialogue narrowing account for 48%, while the group of heterophonic fragments in the order of dialogue expanding accounts for only 14.3% of the total number of heterophonic fragment materials surveyed.

Also, in the group of heterophonic fragments, 113 fragments are not monosyllabic, according to the survey. Still, we cannot group this sentence into two subgroups of dialogue expanding and narrowing when conducting meaning analysis: (11) Still about the sound of the piano. [9]; (12) What about far away? [34]; (13) Quite a few friends. Lots of likes and comments. [34]; (14) Poor thing.[37]; (15) Wow, how terrible![40]; (16) And sing… [51]; (17) Wow![121]; (18) Then it rained.[157]; (19) And now… [294]; (20) Grandma![297].

This number of sentences accounts for a large percentage (37.7%). This again confirms that the heterophonic view can decipher modality of a fragment in Vietnamese. Still, it needs to be more comprehensive to analyze modality of particular cases. Perhaps, this is also the common confusion of many Vietnamese linguists when researching and explaining fragments. That is also why, over the years, many works have mentioned fragments and confirmed the inevitable existence of this type of sentence in Vietnamese. Still, the author has yet to isolate the aspects of the particular sentence thoroughly.

3.4. The modality of heterophonic sentence groups

3.4.1. Dialogue narrowing

From the survey results in Table 2, the aggressive approach to dialogue narrowing has a much higher rate between the two categories of heterophonic. In the minimalistic structure of a particular sentence, the elements that appear on the learning level are mandatory. Therefore, the dialogue narrowing is a way for the spokesperson to bluntly affirm or refute different and contradictory contents of the dialogue.

Some of the following documents prove the direction of publication with firm assertion. There is nothing to discuss or debate further: (21) Always staring.[10]; (22) The strength of a man.[20]; (23) Absolutely.[32]; (24) Definitely.[47]; (25) Really scary![125]; (26) It's Linh Cam ferry.[145]; (27) Still waiting for movement.[180]; (28) Awful.[230]

In the context of denial, the specific expressions of modality are pretty diverse, revealing many levels of emotions, different forms of views of the speaker on the content of the dialogue, and representative cases such as: (29) That's all [22]; (30) Can't quit now.[22]; (31) Just a customer.[32]

The corpus 29-30 has different expressions, but in general, they refute the interlocutor's point of view. In (29), the speaker wants to prevent the development of the problem. A "That's all" is emitted as a decisive move to stop the conversation and stop discussing the issue. Meanwhile, in examples (30) and (31), the refutation comes from an affirmative situation; the affirmation continues, affirms the degree and nature of the relationship, but through the affirmation, tends to refute the wrong views that the opponent had before. Likewise, in the examples below: (32) Definitely not Tet.[20]; (33) Dream on [40]; (34) No, it's not.[40]; (35) That's it.[44]; (36) Stop wasting your time.[52]; (37) There is no way.[254]

3.4.2. Dialogue expanding

The "dialogue expanding " category to be statements indicating differing views on the same issue and that the difference between them is only of degree. This category is shown in the survey results, accounting for 14.3%. With "possible," the speaker states a conditional opinion; that is, the view is only one of the possible possibilities. The following examples show possible content relationships:(38) Is that An?[150]; (39) Still my house.[154]; (40) So strange.[157]; (41) Too suddenly and unexpectedly. [184]; (42) Maybe Poorverty, Pressure, or Times...[256]; (43) Something like that.[256]; (44) A real good time.[284].

The "possible" heterophonic view is the group that reveals modality quite clearly according to the traditional analytical lines of modality. The speaker expresses his personal opinions in communication tactfully and subtly. Of course, the modal expression levels of the particular sentence belonging to this debate group are classified into different levels, from low to high. For example, utterances (38), (42), and (43) mean that modality is reserved, while those (39), (43) have a higher degree of expressing the speaker's point of view. Accordingly, statements (41) and (44) were pushed to the extreme in terms of conviction, expressing the speaker's clear opinion.

With the category of "assign" argument, the speaker indicates quite clearly that what he is saying is only one point of view among several different perspectives, whose authenticity depends on the reliability of the evidence or reputation of the speaker of that opinion. For example, in the following statements: (45) Don't believe me?[175]; (46) No? [179]; (47) Wait for me! [219]; (48) Agree? [247]; (49) Call her back? [252]; (50) Are you agree?[284]; (51) And me? [287].

In the above statements, the speaker's reputation plays an essential role in the utterance (47), and the degree of trust in potential information is slightly reduced (45). The statements (51) - (46) - (49) - (50) - (48), in turn, place the right of authenticity on the interlocutor at different levels of role differentiation on the high and low axis.

4. Conclusion

P.P.R White's "heterophonic" view, developed from the initiatives of Bakhtin, Vyacheslav Ivano, and Russian poets, is an exciting line of modality analysis. Accordingly, Nguyen Van Hiep once asserted that "all means of modality expression in language can be studied within the framework of the content categories of this theory," is indeed a correct statement.[16; p96]

We have applied heterophonic theory to study Vietnamese fragments, a unique type of sentence in all three aspects of learning, semantics and pragmatics. With the categories "dialogue narrowing" and "dialogue expanding," the above researchers' heterophonic approach has helped us point out the isolated groups of modality of sentences that are especially remarkable. However, in addition, applying the heterophonic theoretical framework according to P.P.R White's two categories of heterophonic debate, we have two corpus groups that are isolated in terms of types. Group 1 accounts for 6.3%, not the group of monosyllabic sentences; group 2 accounts for 27.1% with signs of heterophonic argument but not in the category of announcement, denial, possible, or attribution. This is the warp that nearly every approach encounters when using fragment analysis. With the study of the fragments as an independent scientific object for many years, the origin of this warping comes from the fragment itself. This motivates us to continue approaching and building a complete theoretical framework to thoroughly analyze all aspects of fragments. And, of course, we continue to study heterophonic theory as a practical approach to describing and explaining semantic problems in general and modality in Vietnamese syntax.

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