Requests in American and British English: A contrastive by Ilka Flöck

By Ilka Flöck

This quantity includes a thorough exam of using request concepts on contrastive dimensions. at the cross-cultural measurement, it compares using British and American English request recommendations in obviously happening casual conversations. The conversational information are retrieved from the overseas Corpus of English (ICE) and the Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English. at the methodological measurement, it systematically compares request concepts and their frequency distributions within the conversational info to questionnaire-based requests. Highlighting quite a few instrument-induced results, the amount demanding situations the validity of 1 of the main widespread and permitted information assortment instruments in pragmatics examine, the DCT.
The large info research inside the quantity features a wide selection of linguistic variables together with mitigating and irritating amendment techniques and their interplay with head act directness degrees. whereas it specializes in the first-pair half, the e-book additionally deals an research of request responses from a cross-cultural perspective.
The findings of the research give a contribution new insights to analyze on requests, politeness, variational pragmatics, and common study methodology.

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Theoretical framework  also remarks that co-occurrence patterns of please with different indirect requests have “resisted explanation” within a theory which distinguishes between direct and indirect speech acts. Are you please able to do the dishes? and not acceptable in hints like *The kitchen is in a mess please. Bach & Harnish (1979: 202) circumvent this problem by proposing that the use of please with indirect requests is “ungrammatical, though perfectly acceptable” because please can only occur with requests and indirect requests carry the force of both requests and questions.

In order to account for how hearers are able to identify the speaker’s intention in cases where linguistic forms are not used conventionally, Searle (1979) draws on Grice’s (1975) notions of conversational implicature and inference. Searle (1979) claims that in such cases of mismatch, illocutionary acts can be performed by the activation of an inferential path in the hearer. In  Requests in American and British English the case of requests, the inferential path involves premises ranging from assumptions about the speaker’s cooperativeness (cf.

To conclude, speech act theory, speech-act based politeness theories, discursive politeness theories and conversation analysis have all contributed to our understanding of requests. While requests are conceptualised as acts reflecting the speaker’s intention in speech act theory and speech-act based politeness theories, they are understood as instantiations of social practices in discursive politeness theories and conversation analysis. Conversation analysts, in particular, have emphasised that language is only one among many other instantiations of social practices.

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