Evaluations of im/politeness of an intercultural apology

Chang, Wei-Lin Melody and Haugh, Michael (2011) Evaluations of im/politeness of an intercultural apology. Intercultural Pragmatics, 8 3: 411-442. doi:10.1515/iprg.2011.019

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Author Chang, Wei-Lin Melody
Haugh, Michael
Title Evaluations of im/politeness of an intercultural apology
Journal name Intercultural Pragmatics   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1613-365X
Publication date 2011-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1515/iprg.2011.019
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 8
Issue 3
Start page 411
End page 442
Total pages 32
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publisher De Gruyter Mouton
Language eng
Abstract This study examines variation in evaluations of im/politeness of a recording of a naturally occurring intercultural apology, focusing in particular on potential cultural differences in these evaluations across speakers of (Australian) English and (Mandarin) Chinese. We first closely analyze the apology itself as a form of social action, and suggest in the course of this analysis that evaluations of im/politeness are closely tied to converging and diverging interpretations of actions and meanings that are interactionally achieved in situated discourse. The results of a survey of evaluations of the apology and follow-up interviews with Australian and Taiwanese informants are then discussed. A comparison of ratings of im/politeness of the intercultural apology between Taiwanese and Australians suggests that there are indeed significant differences in evaluations of im/politeness between members of these two cultural backgrounds. We trace this through our analysis of metadiscursive commentary to differences in the ways in which “sincerity” is conceptualized in (Australian) English and Taiwanese Mandarin. In doing so, we propose a firmer empirical basis for the analyst to make inferences about whether the interactional achievement of diverging interpretations of meanings and actions in intercultural discourse is culturally motivated or simply idiosyncratic to the situation or individual participants. We conclude, however, that while evaluations of im/ politeness are indeed influenced by the cultural background of respondents, developing a more fine-grained understanding of cultural influences on evaluations of im/politeness is necessary.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 12 Aug 2016, 20:25:40 EST by Ms Katrina Hume on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures