Multilingual couples' disagreement : Taiwanese partners and their foreign spouses

Chi, Yu-Feng (Yvonne) (2016) Multilingual couples' disagreement : Taiwanese partners and their foreign spouses. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

Fullversion-2014ChiYphdBBK.pdf - Full Version

Download (2MB) | Preview
Print Copy Information:


This thesis investigates oppositional stance-taking between multilingual couples through analysing discourse strategies from a sociocultural perspective. It is based on the naturally-occurring conversations of twenty-one Taiwanese participants and their foreign spouses, and aims at providing a better understanding of how different strategies are deployed to mitigate or intensify their propositions in disagreement contexts. Through a detailed interactional sociolinguistics analysis of the negotiation between the couples, it is demonstrated that disagreement cultivates the intimate relationship between participants from different languages and cultures. Discourse strategies, such as vocatives, the discourse marker well, apology and complaint can be used to indicate upcoming oppositions, whereas questioning, swearing, reference to nationality, humour, and indirectness are used to maintain the disagreement. I employ the theory of stance-taking as a framework to elucidate how numerous discourse strategies are related to disagreement. A sequential analysis of stances demonstrates that multilingual intercultural couples may choose different languages to index their identities, attitudes, and beliefs and highlight disagreement. Code-switching functions as one of the most readily available strategies that the couples draw on to express their affective and epistemic stances, which strengthens the salience of constructing and negotiating their oppositions during the interaction. It argues that disagreement strategies are highly idiosyncratic rather than culture-specific. The fact that multilingual couples’ disagreement commonly terminates without consensus supports the main argument that sustaining oppositional stances does not damage their relationship.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
School/Department: School of Social Sciences, History & Philosophy > Applied Linguistics & Communication
Depositing User: ORBIT Editor
Date Deposited: 18 May 2017 17:39
Last Modified: 18 May 2017 17:39

Actions (ORBIT staff only)
View Item View Item