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


Li, W, Saying 'no' in emails in Mandarin Chinese and Australian English, Journal of Politeness Research ISSN 1612-5681 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1515/pr-2020-0005


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australian English, Mandarin Chinese, (in)directnes, politeness, refusal
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Linguistics
Research Field:Discourse and pragmatics
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Communication across languages and culture
UTAS Author:Li, W (Dr Lucy Li)
ID Code:149504
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Global Cultures and Languages
Deposited On:2022-04-01
Last Modified:2022-05-23

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