1887
Volume 23, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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Abstract

Abstract

This paper deals with rhetorically intended questions in the , a foundational text of Daoism (fourth century ). Such questions are generally meant to evoke silent answers in the addressee’s mind, thereby involving a fictive type of interaction (Pascual 20062014). We analyse rhetorical questions as constructions of intersubjectivity (see Verhagen 20052008), involving not just a conceptual integration of question and assertion but also a viewpoint blend (Dancygier and Sweetser [eds] 2012). They involve fusing the perspectives of the writer, the assumed prospective readers, and possibly also that of the discourse characters (in the case of rhetorical questions ascribed to a discourse character but meant to represent the writer’s voice). In this highly influential text with abundant mixed viewpoint scenarios, the interpretation of rhetorical questions involves the resolution of different viewpoints, which are set up and shifted in a multi-layered manner for particular argumentative purposes.

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2022-10-10
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