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Evaluations of Mock Impoliteness in a Chinese Online Talk Show: Insights from Audiences' Metapragmatic Comments in the Form of Danmaku

Research output: Contribution to conference - Without ISBN/ISSN Conference paperpeer-review

Publication date17/07/2019
<mark>Original language</mark>English
Event12th International Conference on (Im)politeness - Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 17/07/201919/07/2019


Conference12th International Conference on (Im)politeness
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


Mock impoliteness, as a term encompassing a wide array of phenomena (e.g. banter, teasing, mocking), is exploited as a means of triggering humorous effects in talk shows. Despite having attracted a plethora of scholarly attention (e.g. Leech 1983; Culpeper 2011; Haugh and Bousfield 2012), there is little research examining mock impoliteness in Chinese. This paper aims to investigate third-party- participants' evaluations of mock impoliteness in a Chinese online talk show, Roast, drawing on insights from a valuable resource of audiences' comments - Danmaku. Danmaku is a commenting system that has been widely applied to video websites in Asian countries, especially in China and Japan (Wu & Ito, 2014). As an asynchronous, horizontal and text-based display of comments floating in the forms of subtitles at the top of the video frame, Danmaku is rich in metapragmatic comments on the mock impoliteness speech events appeared in the show and can be viewed as an anonymous dynamic focus group. Thus, it provides an excellent opportunity to investigate such questions as (i) how is mock impoliteness evaluated by third-party-participants? And (ii) what are the most salient factors in occasioning evaluations of mock impoliteness? The results show that mixed messages, the degree of FTAs, and the social parameters between the roaster and the roastee, among other things, all play important roles in third-party-participants’ evaluations of mock impoliteness. The analysis also sheds light on the second-order definition of mock impoliteness from a first-order understanding, in the hope of helping to redress the imbalance of the anglocentric bias in mock impoliteness scholarship.