Volume 20, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This study examines an unexplored type of speech act named , which took place uniquely in the context of ancient China. Taking it as a Power Threatening Act rather than a commonly studied Face Threatening Act, this study examined remonstrators’ strategic modulation of their , and the factors that might have influenced the choice of modulation strategies. The data come from . The major findings are as follows: first, the speech act of contained both ritualised and non-ritualised aspects; second, remonstrators would adopt different modulation strategies when performing , which can be generally divided into three modulation orientations of redress, aggravation, and a combination of redress and aggravation, with different degrees of rituality; third, the choices of modulation strategies reflected the game playing of the requirements of affiliational propriety and illocutionary effect within the act.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): court context; jian; modulation; power threatening act; ritual; speech act
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