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ERIC Number: EJ1024012
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0143-4632
Managing Discourse in Intercultural Business Email Interactions: A Case Study of a British and Italian Business Transaction
Incelli, Ersilia
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, v34 n6 p515-532 2013
This paper investigates native speaker (NS) and non-native speaker (NNS) interaction in the workplace in computer-mediated communication (CMC). Based on empirical data from a 10-month email exchange between a medium-sized British company and a small-sized Italian company, the general aim of this study is to explore the nature of the intercultural interaction and identify the strategies used to carry out successful communication in Business English as a Lingua Franca (BELF) in the genre of business emails. Thus, this study specifically addresses and identifies (1) aspects of accommodation in intercultural communication, such as "adjustment" and "normalisation", (2) the linguistic features involved in these strategies, which embrace features of formality and informality ("politeness"), and "relational" language, and (3) instances of miscommunication. The results were obtained taking a triangulated methodological approach essentially discourse-analytical in focus, with an additional qualitative analysis of the ethnographic data, and aided by corpus linguistic tools to retrieve recurrent phraseology typical of the business emails. The findings reveal how accommodation strategies facilitate the understanding of sometimes "incomprehensible" NS--NNS interactions; but there is also evidence of how low levels of language competence and low cross-cultural awareness can lead to miscommunication putting a business transaction at risk.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A