Illocutional concurrences:The case of evaluative speech acts and face-work in spoken Mandarin and American English

Tantucci, Vittorio and Wang, Aiqing (2018) Illocutional concurrences:The case of evaluative speech acts and face-work in spoken Mandarin and American English. Journal of Pragmatics, 138. 60–76. ISSN 0378-2166

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This paper proposes a novel usage-based approach to modal and illocutionary analysis. As a case study, it provides a holistic picture of the interplay between evaluations and face-work (i.a. Goffman 1967) as they occur in the Spoken Callhome corpora of Mandarin and American English. We plotted a conditional inference tree model (Hothorn et al. 2006) to gather what we call language-specific illocutional concurrences (IC). IC encompass converging factors at various levels of verbal experience that contribute both locally (i.e. at the morphosyntactic level) and peripherally (i.e. at the illocutionary level) to the encoding of contextually and culturally situated speech acts or pragmemes (i.a. Mey 2001; Author 2016a). From this study will emerge that Mandarin evaluations tend to include a higher number of instances of propositional face-work, viz. cases where the speaker overtly addresses the hearer as the target of his/her evaluation. Similarly, Mandarin evaluations show higher illocutional complexity, in the sense of having a more diverse pool of overtly coded dimensions that speakers account for whilst making evaluations. Finally, Mandarin evaluations also show a stronger tendency to overtly account for harmonious rapport-maintenance (i.a. Goffman 1967; Spencer-Oatey 2008) and intersubjectivity (i.a. Traugott & Dasher 2002; Traugott 2010).

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Pragmatics
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This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Pragmatics. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Pragmatics, 138, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2018.09.014
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01 Oct 2018 09:12
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 06:24