The principle of proportionality
Consequentiality and promises in Mandarin conversation
In Mandarin conversation, utterances about future actions with severe consequences are observed to correlate with bigger promises, marked by devices indicating greater illocutionary force, as compared with those about actions with less serious consequences. Applying the principle of proportionality proposed by Goffman (1971), I argue that participants’ design of promise is proportional to the severity of the action consequences, which is evaluated by the participants on a moment-by-moment basis. The ad hoc construction of promises shows that promising is a dynamic process, rather than a one-time action. The proportionality principle may also account for the differences between promises in institutional discourse and ordinary conversation.
Keywords: Interactional Linguistics, interactional action, promising, Mandarin conversation
Keywords: 互动语言学, 交际行为, 承诺, 汉语对话
This article is currently available as a sample article.
Published online: 03 June 2020
Brown, Penelope, and Stephen C. Levinson
Canavan, Alexandra, and George Zipperlen
Clark, Herbert H.
Clayman, Steven, and John Heritage
[ p. 130 ]
Couper-Kuhlen, Elizabeth, and Selting, Margret
Fish, Karyn, Kathrin Rothermich, and Marc D. Pell
Hellbernd, Nele, and Daniela Sammler
Heritage, John, and Raymond C. Wesley[ p. 131 ]
Heritage, John, Raymond C. Wesley, and Drew, Paul
Lee, P. L. P., Hai Hua Pan, and Lei Zhang
Li, Charles, and Sandra Thompson
Local, John, and Gareth Walker
Pell, Marc D., Silke Paulmann, Chinar Dara, Areej Alasseri, and Sonja A. Kotz
Searle, John R.
Selting, Margret[ p. 132 ]
Schegloff, Emanuel, Gail Jefferson, and Harvey Sacks
Thompson, Sandra A., and Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen
Thompson, Sandra A., Barbara A. Fox, and Elizabeth Couper-Kuhlen
Tomioka, Satoshi, and Yaping Tsai
Turk, Monica J.
2018 “吉林长春: ‘电视问政’有镜头 作风建设不停休. [Jilin Changchun: non-stop effort to rectify officials’ style of work through the lens of ‘Questioning Officials on TV’]”. Retrieved from http://www.xinhuanet.com/politics/2018-01/25/c_1122313561.htm
Wang, Yu-Fang, Pi-Hua Tsai, and Ya-Ting Yang
Yu, Guodong, and Yaxin Wu