Mitigated directness in Honglou meng: directive speech acts and politeness in eighteenth century Chinese

Skewis, Malcolm (2003) Mitigated directness in Honglou meng: directive speech acts and politeness in eighteenth century Chinese. Journal of Pragmatics, 35 2: 161-189. doi:10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00084-X


Author Skewis, Malcolm
Title Mitigated directness in Honglou meng: directive speech acts and politeness in eighteenth century Chinese
Journal name Journal of Pragmatics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0378-2166
Publication date 2003-02-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00084-X
Volume 35
Issue 2
Start page 161
End page 189
Total pages 29
Editor J. L. Mey
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subject C1
420112 Chinese Languages
751001 Languages and literature
Abstract This paper is situated within a theoretical discussion that asserts a positive correlation between indirectness and politeness, and uses these claims as a springboard for an examination of polite ways of issuing directives in eighteenth century Chinese. On the basis of an analysis of directive speech acts from dialogue in the novel Honglou meng, it argues that the concept of indirectness, as it applies to the illocutionary transparency of individual speech acts, has no particular value in the culture and language of eighteenth century Chinese men. It is found that other linguistic devices such as particles, the reduplication of verbs, terms of address, and the presence and sequencing of supportive moves are far more significant to the communication of politeness. The findings suggest a need to rethink current theoretical positions on this subject and move beyond the analysis of individual speech acts to examine the role discourse structure and management play in the enactment of politeness. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keyword Language & Linguistics Theory
Applied Linguistics
Indirectness
Politeness
Mitigation
Supportive Moves
Chinese
Discourse Structure
American English
Requests
Discourse
Language
Face
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Languages and Comparative Cultural Studies -- Student Publications
2004 Higher Education Research Data Collection
 
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