Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-4742
  • E-ISSN: 2211-4750
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According to van Eemeren’s expose about the theoretical notion “argumentative style” (2019: 153–171), each of the four stages of an argumentative exchange in a certain institutional context can have its own argumentative style, but all of them may well belong to the same general category (for instance, “detached” or “engaged”). As the start of a broad project investigating argumentative styles used in the spokespersons’ argumentative replies at the regular press conferences of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this paper focuses on the uncompromising confrontational style prototypically used by the spokespersons in responding to journalists, which is characterized by argumentative moves instrumental in strategies of silencing the other party, distracting the other party, and pressuring the other party. By means of an analysis of three argumentative replies given by Chinese spokespersons, this paper shows how this particular confrontational style takes shape and facilitates the spokespersons’ confrontational maneuvering by being at the same time detached.


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