This is a preprint
The Discourse Flexibility Of Zhao Yuanren (Yuen Ren Chao)’s Homophonic Text

Chinese American linguist Zhao Yuanren (Yuen Ren Chao) 赵元任’s homophonic Chinese text entitled “Shi shi shi shi shi 施氏食狮史” (or Story of stone grotto poet eating lions) (Zhao [1960]1980) is a peculiar text that is little explored. This paper, with a discussion of this text in terms of mode of discourse, reveals how flexible a homophonic text can be, and how mode of discourse can bend a discourse in its length, syntax, style, and structure. This study enriches the linguistic power and intelligence to Zhao’s original homophonic text and offers some implications for the research of homophonic texts and discourses.