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Elastic Language
How and Why We Stretch our Words

£23.99

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

£ 23.99
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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
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    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

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    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.

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