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“Being Direct or Indirect?” Politeness, Facework and Rapport Construction in Chinese Interpersonal Business Requests

Journal: English Literature and Language Review (Vol.3, No. 6)

Publication Date:

Authors : ; ;

Page : 58-70

Keywords : Business requests; Facework; (In)Directness; Interpersonal rapport; Politeness.;

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This article investigates how requests, either in direct or indirect forms, are associated with politeness strategies and facework in Chinese verbal business negotiations. Drawing on authentic data and Watts (2003) social models of politeness and (Kirkpatrick, 1991; Spencer-Oatey Helen. (2000)) rapport management, the authors analyze how business negotiators manage and interpret the notion of “being (in)direct” and its connection with linguistic politeness, facework and rapport construction in business discourse. The results reveal that there is no inherent connection between Chinese politeness and Chinese facework. Interpersonal rapport in business contexts is complex and dynamic owing to different communicative motives and business relations. The Chinese facework can be classified into self face and collective face at both non-professional and professional levels. The realizations of business requests embody business negotiators' cognition of social and professional roles and sensitivity of interpersonal rapport, together with their evaluation of interactive contexts and linguistic forms, revealing the Chinese interpersonal communication system and discoursal rapport construction in business contexts.

Last modified: 2018-09-14 18:42:22