Disagreement Studies Reviewed and My Coy Disagreements

Lingling Xu


Through reviewing and combing the previous studies on linguistic disagreement over the past three decades from four dimensions or research hotspots—definitions of disagreement, classifications of disagreement, factors affecting the ways of raising disagreement, and strategies to present disagreement, this study shows that disagreement has experienced the transformation from being regarded as a marginal impolite phenomenon to an important, common socio-pragmatic phenomenon catching a mounting number of linguists’ attention. They define disagreement via directions or discoveries of corresponding studies, but the vague boundary between the synonymous concepts restrains the definition progress. The criteria of taxonomies, with their respective merits and demerits, contain the forms, functions and levels of disagreement. As to the factors affecting the disagreement raising, contextualization becomes the trend. But the overlaps of the specific factors’ scopes leave space for scrutinization. It is found that, given significant multi-perspective findings, disagreement literature often rents ideas from Impoliteness Theory, conducive to the discount of objectivity and pertinence of their elaboration. The disagreement-response or disagreement-reaction part, overtly rarely studied, makes a breakthrough for further research.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/selt.v5n4p679


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