Stance-taking with Wo Juede in conversational Chinese
Date of Issue2009
Proceedings of the 21st North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics (NACCL‐21)
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
The present paper deals with one of the most common Mandarin epistemic phrases, Wo Juede, and demonstrates that in addition to epistemic selfexpression, it has also developed addressee-oriented functions to manage the discourse-pragmatic considerations of everyday talk. Specifically, we find that the mitigative quality of Wo Juede has extended from representing speaker’s epistemic uncertainty to one that focuses on managing recipient’s possible responses. Using quantitative corpus analysis, as well as qualitative conversational analytic methods, this study finds that the use of Wo Juede can often be seen as positioning the speaker’s awareness of the addressee’s possible objection to a proposition. Furthermore, it is argued that such a function is uniquely suited for its frequent performance characterized as a joint-assessment initiator in sequences of collaborative evaluation.
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