Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Elastic Language
How and Why We Stretch our Words

AUD$43.95 inc GST

  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108718912

AUD$ 43.95 inc GST

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

Please email to enquire about an inspection copy of this book

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Elastic language carries non-specific and stretchable meaning, as in 'He loves her, kind of'. It is used like a slingshot, targeting various strategic goals. Consolidating current research and charting new directions, this book develops a refreshing theory of elasticity, empirically attested by natural language data from tension-prone encounters between Australian Customs officers and passengers. The theory proposes three principles (fluidity, stretchability and strategy) and offers a systematic look at how elastic language, as a sliding scale, works to balance strengthening and weakening speech tones, to firm and soften a speaker's stance, and to reveal and evade the truth. The comparative analysis of forms, functions, and context confirms that elastic language is fluid, stretchable, and strategic. It serves both cooperative and competitive functions, and social and speech factors impact on its use. This book will appeal to students and researchers working in pragmatics, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, and communication.

    • Proposes a new conceptual framework for vague language and hedging
    • Uses stimulating data from interesting situations to support arguments
    • Presents mixed-methods research for data analysis which will appeal to both quantitative and qualitative researchers
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'All in all, Zhang's book makes a great contribution to the field by filling a significant theoretical gap. The conceptual framework developed and tested throughout the book has the potential to contribute not only to studies on VL use, but also to other areas of linguistic investigation.' Vahid Parvaresh, Discourse Studies

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108718912
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.354kg
    • contains: 7 b/w illus. 38 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Theoretical foundations
    3. Elasticity Theory
    4. Methodology
    5. Linguistic realisation of elastic language
    6. Strategies of elastic language
    7. Elastic language, power and gender
    8. Elastic language and speech factors
    9. General discussion
    10. Conclusions and implications.

  • Author

    Grace Q. Zhang, Curtin University of Technology, Perth
    Grace Q. Zhang is an Associate Professor at Curtin University of Technology, Perth. She was awarded a Ph.D. in linguistics by the University of Edinburgh in 1996, and has published extensively on elastic/vague language.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.