• ISSN: 2382-6282 (Print); 2972-3108 (Online)
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Lang. Lit. Linguist.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL
    • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jason Miin-Hwa Lim
    • Managing Editor:  Jennifer X. Zeng
    • Indexed by:   CNKI, Google Scholar, Crossref,
    • E-mail: ijlll_Editor@126.com
IJLLL 2020 Vol.6(4): 170-176 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2020.6.4.271

Speech Act in Diplomacy: How China Makes Commitments in Diplomatic Press Conference

Hua Yin and Yang Chen

Abstract—Diplomatic commitments are often made in diplomatic settings to demonstrate a country’s future actions. Based on the speech act theory, this study explores how Chinese foreign ministry spokespersons make diplomatic commitments in Chinese ministry of foreign affairs regular press conferences. This study adopted a corpus pragmatic approach and examined commissive speech acts in a self-established corpus consisting transcribed dialogs of 112 press conferences. The findings of this study include: 1) 98.64% of identified commissive speech acts were implicit performatives, among which future tense (59.45%) and modals (32.36%) were two most frequently used approaches to perform commissives; 2) Chinese spokespersons adjusted the use of commissive words in their speech acts for different diplomatic topics; 3) high-frequency words in commissive sentences revealed China’s diplomatic ideologies of togetherness and continuity. The findings of this study present noticeable features of commissives performed by Chinese foreign ministry spokespersons and provide an innovative perspective to understand Chinese diplomatic discourse.

Index Terms—Diplomatic commitment, diplomatic discourse, press conference, speech act.

Hua Yin and Yang Chen are with the College of Humanities and Social Sciences in Harbin Institute of Technology, Shenzhen, China (e-mail: 19S059006@stu.hit.edu.cn, drchenyang@hit.edu.cn).


Cite:Hua Yin and Yang Chen, "Speech Act in Diplomacy: How China Makes Commitments in Diplomatic Press Conference," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 170-176, 2020.

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