Volume 30, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238



Our study provides a corpus-based contrastive pragmatic investigation of the expressions in English and in Chinese. We define such expressions as ‘ritual frame indicating expressions’ (henceforth RFIEs) and argue that RFIEs are deployed in settings where it is important to show awareness of the rights and obligations. ‘Ritual frame’ encompasses a cluster of standard situations. On the one hand the corpus-based investigation of ritual provides an innovative complement to sociopragmatic approaches to ritual behaviour because they reveal how RFIEs that indicate ritual spread across a cluster of standard situations. On the other hand, it allows the researcher to contrast the scope of ritual across lingua-cultures by comparatively looking into the standard situations in which a particular RFIE is deployed. Findings of our data analysis point to intriguing differences between English and Chinese RFIEs, as well as relevant lingua-cultural reasons behind such differences.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Agha, Asif
    2007Language and Social Relations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Andersen, Gisle
    2014 “Pragmatic Borrowing.” Journal of Pragmatics67: 17–33. 10.1016/j.pragma.2014.03.005
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2014.03.005 [Google Scholar]
  3. Barsalou, Lawrence
    1992 “Frames, Concepts and Conceptual Fields.” InFrames, Fields and Contrasts, ed. byAdrienne Lehrer, and Eva Feder Kittay, 21–74. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bax, Marcel
    2010 “Rituals.” InHistorical Pragmatics, ed. byAndreas Jucker and Irma Taavitsainen, 483–521. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bednarek, Monika
    2005 “Frames Revisited: The Coherence-Inducing Function of Frames.” Journal of Pragmatics37: 685–705. 10.1016/j.pragma.2004.09.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2004.09.007 [Google Scholar]
  6. Braun, Friederike
    1988Terms of Address: Problems of Patterns and Usage in Various Languages and Cultures. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. 10.1515/9783110848113
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110848113 [Google Scholar]
  7. Chafe, Wallace
    1994Discourse, Consciousness and Time. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Collins, Randall
    2004Interaction Ritual Chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 10.1515/9781400851744
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9781400851744 [Google Scholar]
  9. Coulmas, Florian
    1981 “Conversational Routine.” InConversational Routine: Explorations in Standardized Communication Situations and Prepatterned Speech, ed. byFlorian Coulmas, 1–18. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Culpeper, Jonathan
    2010 Conventionalised Impoliteness Formulae. Journal of Pragmatics42 (12): 3232–3245. 10.1016/j.pragma.2010.05.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2010.05.007 [Google Scholar]
  11. Dai, Jin-huei
    2007 “Love You” Doesn’t Mean “I Love You”: Just a Way to Say Goodbye. The Nature of Leave-taking and its Pragmatic Applications in Mandarin Chinese. In2007 Selected Papers from Pragmatics in the CJK Classroom: The State of the Art, ed. byDina R. Yoshimi and Haidan Wang. Retrieved from: nflrc.hawaii.edu/CJKProceedings
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Edmondson, Willis
    1985 “Discourse Worlds in the Classroom and in Foreign Language Learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition7 (2): 159–168. 10.1017/S0272263100005349
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263100005349 [Google Scholar]
  13. Fillmore, Charles
    1982 “Frame Semantics.” InLinguistics in the Morning Calm, ed. byLinguistic Society of Korea, 111–137. Seoul: Hanshin.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Gleason, Jean Berko, Rivka Y. Perlmann, and Esther Blank Greif
    1984 “What’s the Magic Word: Learning Language through Politeness Routines.” Discourse Processes7 (4): 493–502. 10.1080/01638538409544603
    https://doi.org/10.1080/01638538409544603 [Google Scholar]
  15. Goffman, Erving
    1967Interaction Ritual: Essays on Face-to-Face Behavior. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. 1974Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. 1981Forms of Talk. Philadelphia: The University of Pennsylvania Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Harris, Sandra
    1995 “Pragmatics and Power.” Journal of Pragmatics23 (2): 117–135. 10.1016/0378‑2166(94)00008‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0378-2166(94)00008-3 [Google Scholar]
  19. House, Juliane
    1989 “Politeness in English and German: The Functions of Please and Bitte.” InCross-Cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies, ed. byShoshana Blum-Kulka, Juliane House, and Gabriel Kasper, 96–119. Norwood, N.J.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. House, Juliane, and Gabriele Kasper
    1981 “Politeness Markers in English and German.” InConversational Routine: Explorations in Standardized Communication Situations and Prepatterned Speech, ed. byFlorian Coulmas, 157–186. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Ide, Sachiko
    1989 “Formal Forms and Discernment: Two Neglected Aspects of Universals of Linguistic Politeness.” Multilingua8 (2/3): 223–248. 10.1515/mult.1989.8.2‑3.223
    https://doi.org/10.1515/mult.1989.8.2-3.223 [Google Scholar]
  22. Johnson, David
    2009Spectacle and Sacrifice: The Ritual Foundations of Village Life in North China. Harvard, MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Kádár, Dániel Z.
    2013Relational Rituals and Communication: Ritual Interaction in Groups. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 10.1057/9780230393059
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230393059 [Google Scholar]
  24. 2017Politeness, Impoliteness and Ritual: Maintaining the Moral Order in Interpersonal Interaction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781107280465
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781107280465 [Google Scholar]
  25. Kádár, Dániel Z., and Juliane House
    2020 Evaluating the Appropriacy of Using Ritual Frame Indicating Expressions (RFIEs) – A case study of learners of Chinese and English. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. . Forthcoming. Contrastive Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Kádár, Dániel Z., Puyu Ning, and Yongping Ran
    2018 “Public Ritual Apology – A Case Study of Chinese.” Discourse, Context and Media26: 21–31. 10.1016/j.dcm.2018.01.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dcm.2018.01.003 [Google Scholar]
  28. Kampf, Zohar
    2009 “Public (non-) Apologies: The Discourse of Minimizing Responsibility.” Journal of Pragmatics41 (11): 2257–2270. 10.1016/j.pragma.2008.11.007
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2008.11.007 [Google Scholar]
  29. Kecskes, Istvan
    2016 “Situation-bound Utterances in Chinese. East Asian Pragmatics1 (1): 107–126. 10.1558/eap.v1i1.29098
    https://doi.org/10.1558/eap.v1i1.29098 [Google Scholar]
  30. Lakoff, Robin
    1972 “Language in Context.” Language48 (4): 907–927. 10.2307/411994
    https://doi.org/10.2307/411994 [Google Scholar]
  31. 1990Talking Power: The Politics of Language. London: Basic Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Lee-Wong, Song Mei
    1994 “Qing/Please – A Polite or Requestive Marker? Observations from Chinese.” Multilingua13 (4): 343–360. 10.1515/mult.1994.13.4.343
    https://doi.org/10.1515/mult.1994.13.4.343 [Google Scholar]
  33. Levinson, Stephen C.
    1979 “Activity Types and Language.” Linguistics17 (5/6): 365–399.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Ma, Naitian
    2003 “试说兼语结构与“请”” [A tentative study on concurrent structure and the usage of the word ‘Please’]. Journal of Henan Institute of Technology22 (4): 78–80.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Malinowski, Bronislaw
    1935Coral Gardens and Their Magic: A Study of the Methods of Tilling the Soil and Agricultural Rites in the Trobriand Islands. Hamburg: Servus.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Mauss, Marcel
    1954The Gift: The Form and Reason for Exchange in Archaic Societies. English translation byW. D. Halls. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Mey, Jacob
    2001Pragmatics: An Introduction (2nd Edition). Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Pizziconi, Barbara
    2003 “Re-examining Politeness, Face and the Japanese Language.” Journal of Pragmatics35 (10/11): 1471–1506. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(02)00200‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(02)00200-X [Google Scholar]
  39. Sarangi, Srikant
    2014 “Activity Types, Discourse Types and Interactional Hybridity: The Case of Genetic Counselling.” InDiscourse and Social Life, ed. bySrikant Sarangi, and Malcolm Coulthard, 1–27. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9781315838502
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315838502 [Google Scholar]
  40. Schank, Roger, and Robert Abelson
    1977Scripts, Plans, Goals and Understanding. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Sharoff, Serge, Reinhard Rapp, Pierre Zweigenbaim, and Pascale Fung
    2013Building and Using Comparable Corpora. New York: Springer. 10.1007/978‑3‑642‑20128‑8
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-20128-8 [Google Scholar]
  42. Spencer-Oatey, Helen
    (ed.) 2000Culturally Speaking: Culture, Communication and Politeness Theory. London: Continuum.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Tannen, Deborah
    1979 “What’s in a Frame? Service Evidence for Underlaying Expectations. InNew Directions in Discourse Processing, ed. byRoy Friedl, 14–56. Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Terkourafi, Marina
    2001 “Politeness in Cypriot Greek: A Frame-Based Approach.” PhD thesis, University of Cambridge.
  45. Terkourafi, Maria
    2005 “Beyond the Micro-Level of Politeness Research.” Journal of Politeness Research1 (1): 237–262. 10.1515/jplr.2005.1.2.237
    https://doi.org/10.1515/jplr.2005.1.2.237 [Google Scholar]
  46. 2011 “The Puzzle of Indirect Speech.” Journal of Pragmatics43 (11): 2861–2865. 10.1016/j.pragma.2011.05.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2011.05.003 [Google Scholar]
  47. Turner, Victor
    1979 “Frame, Flow and Reflection: Ritual and Drama as Public Liminality.” Japanese Journal of Religious Studies6 (4): 465–499. 10.18874/jjrs.6.4.1979.465‑499
    https://doi.org/10.18874/jjrs.6.4.1979.465-499 [Google Scholar]
  48. Van Mulken, Margot
    1996 “Politeness Markers in French and Dutch Requests.” Language Sciences18 (3/4): 689–702. 10.1016/S0388‑0001(96)00042‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0388-0001(96)00042-3 [Google Scholar]
  49. Watts, Richard J.
    2003Politeness. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511615184
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511615184 [Google Scholar]
  50. Wichmann, Anne
    2004 “The Intonation of Please-Requests: A Corpus-Based Study.” Journal of Pragmatics36 (9): 1521–1549. 10.1016/j.pragma.2004.03.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2004.03.003 [Google Scholar]
  51. Woodfield, Helen, and Maria Economidou-Kogetsidis
    2010 “‘I just need more time’: A Study of Native and Non-Native Students’ Requests to Faculty for an Extension.” Multilingua29 (1): 77–118. 10.1515/mult.2010.004
    https://doi.org/10.1515/mult.2010.004 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error