The role of metapragmatic expressions as pragmatic manipulation in a TV panel discussion program
This study explores the role of metapragmatic expressions (MPEs) as pragmatic manipulation in a media context, with data drawn from a Chinese TV panel discussion program Tiger Talk. It argues that the program host selects MPEs to manipulate the ongoing interactions, in order to solve or prevent the actual or potential problems in the interactions. Hence, the functioning of MPEs is described as a process consisting of three stages: problem awareness, pragmatic manipulation, and problem resolution or prevention. It is found that the host mainly uses five types of MPEs, i.e. performatives, commentaries, evidentials, message glosses, and stance displayers for the sake of pragmatic manipulation across the three dimensions of interactive procedure control, rapport management, and impact monitoring. The article concludes that the host’s pragmatic manipulation of the ongoing interactions, driven by both institutional and interpersonal concerns, is motivated by his institutional rights and obligations as a program manager.
Published online: 15 September 2016
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