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Saying “no” in emails in Mandarin Chinese and Australian English

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Li, W ORCID: 0000-0003-1414-5959 2022 , 'Saying “no” in emails in Mandarin Chinese and Australian English' , Journal of Politeness Research , pp. 1-36 , doi: 10.1515/pr-2020-0005.

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Abstract

The present study examined the differences between Mandarin Chinese and Australian English in email refusals. An email production questionnaire (EPQ) and retrospective verbal reports (RVR) were used to collect data. Results showed that while both groups preferred directness to indirectness at the utterance level, Chinese participants used indirectness significantly more frequently than Australian participants in refusals of requests. In addition, Chinese refusals were more indirect than Australian refusals at the discourse level. Chinese participants chose significantly more supportive moves than Australian participants and tended to put multiple supportive moves before the direct head act in refusals of either invitations or requests. The two groups also differed considerably in the content of refusal strategies. Moreover, both the EPQ and RVR data showed that Chinese were more sensitive to social status than Australians. The findings of this study were broadly consistent with studies on refusals in oral communication despite some differences.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Li, W
Keywords: Australian English, Mandarin Chinese, (in)directnes, politeness, refusal
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Politeness Research
Publisher: De Gruyter Mouton
ISSN: 1612-5681
DOI / ID Number: 10.1515/pr-2020-0005
Copyright Information:

© 2022 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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