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Title: (Im)politeness in email communication : how English speakers and Chinese speakers negotiate meanings and develop intercultural (mis)understandings
Author: Hsieh, Shin-Chieh
ISNI:       0000 0004 2685 6501
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis looks at the way in which Chinese and English speakers employ (im)politeness strategies in their emails to develop intercultural understanding. From a theoretical perspective, this thesis contributes to the discussions of intercultural communication in relation to the negotiation of (im)politeness meaning. From a pedagogic perspective, the thesis reveals the potential for using email to experience culture as a process of meaning negotiation and construction and has relevance to teachers of EFL. Ethnographically-informed discourse analysis is employed to investigate discursively the negotiation of meaning in email interaction. The interplay between the computer-mediated communication, speech acts and (im)politeness are explored by using the analytical frameworks of Hymes’ ethnography of communication, Searle’s speech act theory (1969) and Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory (1987). This research shows that ‘(im)politeness’ is not a stable construct. Rather, it is constantly (re)negotiated by the interactants, who take into account the relevant contextualisation cues. It finds that the functions and (im)politeness meanings of speech acts can vary from situations to situations. In addition, this research finds that the computer-mediated paralanguages, such as emoticons and written out laughter, are also important in realising (im)politeness intent and developing intercultural understanding in emails.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Philology. Linguistics