The sensitivity of conversational topics and vague language in Mandarin Chinese
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Vagueness is an important part of language, whose research has been increasingly steadily. However, the impact of touchy conversational topics on the use of vague language has been largely overlooked. Based on the analysis of spoken interactions in Mandarin Chinese, the findings of the study show that, although the overall frequency of vague language items seems unrelated to the sensitivity of conversational topics, different topics result in differing frequencies of the six specific categories of vague language items as well as the forms of vague language-used. Moreover, the ten frequently used vague language items vary between topics. It is therefore concluded that the sensitivity of conversational topics has an influence on the choice of specific types of vague language items, in both frequency and form.
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