An analysis of requests made by Arab and Scandinavian writers in terms of politeness, request, and rhetorical strategies in written business context with English as a lingua franca

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An analysis of requests made by Arab and Scandinavian writers in terms of politeness, request, and rhetorical strategies in written business context with English as a lingua franca

 

Author: Ng, Yuen-ha Polly
Title: An analysis of requests made by Arab and Scandinavian writers in terms of politeness, request, and rhetorical strategies in written business context with English as a lingua franca
Degree: M.A.
Year: 2001
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: 80 leaves ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1608294
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/4547
Abstract: This research examine the practices of politeness, request, and rhetorical strategies in business communication by two cultures which are known to be very distinct in terms of some widely recognized cultural taxonomies such as Hall's High and Low-Context and Hofstede's Four Cultural Dimensions. The frequency, nature and distribution of the politeness strategies are realized on a text level. The validity of Scollon and Scollon's Politeness Systems is examined in this written business context. The inter-relations between the politeness strategies, request strategies and rhetorical strategies are also identified. The similarities and differences of these practices of the strategies are manifested with cultural factors. Data samples are taken from a Hong Kong Manufacturer's overseas inquiries. The results indicate that positive politeness is more frequently used strategy and its occurrence is highest in the opening section of a text. While negative politeness is linked more specifically to the face threatening act, i.e. the request in this kind of written business context. The Scollon and Scollon's Politeness System is not valid on the text level as a whole but only on the request sentence level. Arab writers tend to use more redressive languages than the Scandinavian writers. There are some distinctions in the choices of positive politeness strategies. Basically both cultures apply the strategies' to "claim common grounds", but the Arab writers usually "intensify the readers' interest" by giving an introduction of themselves, while the Scandinavian writers "notice, attend to the receivers" by stating the source of information or the previous contact with the receivers. In terms of request strategies, Arab writers have a greater variety in choices than the Scandinavian writers do. The most direct strategy, "Mood Derivable" is more frequently used by Scandinavian writers but it is not significant enough to say the Scandinavian culture is more direct in making business requests in the scope of this research. The rhetorical strategies are found to be inductive regardless to the cultural factor. But by the physical word count of the samples, Arab culture writes longer business correspondence than the Scandinavian culture does. Furthermore, Arab culture appears to put the emphasis on the opening section; whereas the Scandinavian relatively more emphasize on the proposition section if the percentage of number of words of this particular section over the whole text is considered.

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