The Analysis of Pragmatic Ambivalence in a Dream of Red Mansions

Chunling GENG


Pragmatic ambivalence refers to the indeterminacy of utterance meaning in the dynamic process of language use. According to Thomas (1991, 1995) and Yu Dongming (1997), pragmatic ambivalence is the language phenomenon in which the speaker conveys two or more illocutionary acts or illocutionary forces to the hearer by using indeterminate, ambivalent or indirect utterances in a certain speech act. It is a communicative strategy consciously employed by the speaker to achieve specific communicative effects.
Taking conversations in the novel A Dream of Red Mansions as the research data, relevance theory as the theoretical foundation, the thesis defines the pragmatic ambivalence, analyzes the features and functions of pragmatic ambivalence, and discusses the features and functions of pragmatic ambivalence in the novel.


Pragmatic ambivalence; Conversations; Communicative intention

Full Text:



Channell, J. (1994). Vague language. Shanghai Foreign Language and Education Press.

Kempson, R. M. (1977). Semantic theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,.

Leech, G. N. (1977). Language and tact. Linguistic Agency, University of Trier.

Levinson, S. C. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thomas, J. (1991). Pragmatics: Lecture notes. Lancaster University.

Thomas, J. (1995). Meaning in interaction: An introduction to pragmatics. London:

Ullmann, S.(1962). Semantics. Oxford: Blackwell.

Zadeh, L. A. (1972). A Fuzzy-Set-Theoretic Interpretation of Linguistic Hedges. Journal of Cybernetics.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2015 Chunling GENG

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Online Submission:

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.
  • We only use four mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;;

 Articles published in Cross-Cultural Communication are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture