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Rhetorical functions of quotations in late pre-imperial and early imperial memorials on questions of civilian-military leadership


Schwermann, Christian (2014). Rhetorical functions of quotations in late pre-imperial and early imperial memorials on questions of civilian-military leadership. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 68(4):1069-1114.

Abstract

The present paper analyzes the rhetorical functions of verbal parallels in selected pre-imperial Qín 秦 (prior to 221 B.C.E.) and early imperial Qín (221–206 B.C.E.) and Western Hàn 漢 (206/202 B.C.E. – 9 C.E.) memorials. Following the lead of Richard L. Schultz (The Search for Quotation: Verbal Parallels in the Prophets, 1999), it furnishes evidence that the authors of these petitions and remonstrances, which normally had to be submitted to the throne in writing before they could be orally presented to kings or emperors, employed quotations not only to embellish their statements or to give authority to them but also utilized them as argumentative figures of thought. In the samples under review, citations serve as elementary links in the argumentative chain of the quoting texts and even add a second layer of meaning to them, thus providing access to their argumentative “deep structure”. Moreover, when employed as structural devices, verbal parallels organize the memorials by introducing new argumentative steps not only from the point of view of contents but also formally through being topicalized and embedded into causal clauses and therefore can serve as criteria for dividing these texts into sense-units.

Abstract

The present paper analyzes the rhetorical functions of verbal parallels in selected pre-imperial Qín 秦 (prior to 221 B.C.E.) and early imperial Qín (221–206 B.C.E.) and Western Hàn 漢 (206/202 B.C.E. – 9 C.E.) memorials. Following the lead of Richard L. Schultz (The Search for Quotation: Verbal Parallels in the Prophets, 1999), it furnishes evidence that the authors of these petitions and remonstrances, which normally had to be submitted to the throne in writing before they could be orally presented to kings or emperors, employed quotations not only to embellish their statements or to give authority to them but also utilized them as argumentative figures of thought. In the samples under review, citations serve as elementary links in the argumentative chain of the quoting texts and even add a second layer of meaning to them, thus providing access to their argumentative “deep structure”. Moreover, when employed as structural devices, verbal parallels organize the memorials by introducing new argumentative steps not only from the point of view of contents but also formally through being topicalized and embedded into causal clauses and therefore can serve as criteria for dividing these texts into sense-units.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:Journals > Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques > Archive > 68 (2014) > 4
Dewey Decimal Classification:Unspecified
Language:English
Date:2014
Deposited On:19 Sep 2016 14:17
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 20:23
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0004-4717
Official URL:http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/asia.2014.68.issue-4/asia-2014-0051/asia-2014-0051.xml

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