Public discourse constitutes the language environment of a town or a city, which forms part of the social environment of a country or a region. Based on extensive first-hand data collected from public places, mass media and the Internet, this monograph attempts critical pragmatic studies of public discourse in the contemporary Chinese context.
By applying pragmatic theories and analytical instruments to the analysis of the data, including business names, advertisements, public signs and notices, and news, the book showcases such discursive practices as personalization and subjectivization and reveals such social problems as unhealthy social mentalities, “pragmatic traps”, suspect discrimination, and vulgarity. It exemplifies a way of combining the Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) approach and the pragmatic approach with a clear focus on the pragmatic issues.
This book will not only be a necessary addition to the academic discipline of pragmatics in general, and critical pragmatics in particular, but also lay bare the problems existing in the use of public discourse and suggest several ways to improve such use. While it addresses the Chinese data only, the proposed analyses may contribute to international readers’ understanding of public discourse in contemporary China and serve as a reference for similar researches worldwide.

chapter 1|13 pages


chapter 2|8 pages

Research background

chapter 3|20 pages

Theoretical foundations

chapter 7|32 pages

(Non-)civility in Chinese public discourse

chapter 10|5 pages