ERIC Number: ED379914
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994
A Contrastive Analysis of Mandarin Chinese and American English Letter-Writing Formats and an Investigation into the Instruction of These Formats.
This paper compares the prescribed American and Chinese letter writing formats as outlined in texts and examines actual letters from American and Chinese writers to determine how they compared to these formats and, if they differed, to identify possible reasons for these differences. After teaching students of Mandarin Chinese a basic lesson on how to write letters in Chinese, the author examines the effect of instruction in Chinese letter format by assigning each to write a letter. English and Chinese texts were used; the first were written for English-speaking children learning to write letters and the second, for non-native adult speakers of Mandarin Chinese learning how to write letters in Chinese. Results indicate that the most striking difference is the position of the date. The ordering of the dates in each group was basically consistent with the textbook formats. The two groups of 20 letters showed that the American writers had more variety and individual differences than the Chinese in the way they wrote the date. The Chinese writers displayed more inconsistencies than the Americans in the other parts of the letters. The responses of the students of Mandarin Chinese show that their letters had less variation in their salutations and closing compliments. (Contains 5 references.) (CK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Deseret Language and Linguistics Society (Provo, UT, 1993), p158-162, 1994.