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Book Chapter

Publication Date



This study investigates contextual variations in mitigation production (consisting of internal and external modifications) in idealistic Chinese request-making (i.e., what native Chinese speakers consider appropriate to say in hypothetical scenarios). The participants were 22 native Chinese speakers recruited from a university in China. They completed a 20-item Oral Discourse Completion Test (ODCT) tapping two contextual variables: power and imposition. The results show that: (1) both power and imposition exerted significant influence on the frequency of producing internal and external modifications, (2) the various internal and external modifiers were differentially associated with the two contextual variables, and (3) the preferred sequential organization of external modifications differed according to context types.


Author accepted manuscript version of a chapter published by John Benjamins Publishing in:

Li, S. (2019). Contextual variations of mitigations in Chinese requests. In Y. Xiao, & L. Tsung (Eds.). Current Studies in Chinese Language and Discourse (pp.57-79). John Benjamins Publishing.