Mitigating Mechanism of Discourse Markers

Qianbo LI


Of all the discourse markers functioning in discourse, mitigators are pointed out as one of the significant pragmatic categories among all the discourse markers. Fraser (1980) initiates the topic of mitigation and reveals its intimacy with politeness. Caffi (1999) further points out that mitigation is functional to smooth the speech acts that may impose face threat to the interlocutors, for instance, risks of self-contradiction, refusal, losing face, conflict and so forth. Under these circumstances, DMs with mitigating force serve as good candidates for monitoring interpersonal relation, emotive distance between interlocutors.


Discourse markers; Politeness; Mitigation mechanism

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