Facework in Non-Face-Threatening Emails by Native and Non-Native English Speakers

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Abstract


The aim of this research is to investigate the speech act of assignment submission and presence of facework in submission emails sent to faculty members by native and nonnative English speaking graduate students. Brown and Levinson’s politeness theory (1987) and Spencer-Oatey’s (2002, 2008) rapport management framework were utilized to analyze the emails. The corpus consisted of 105 emails from 40 NES and NNES students. Drawing on speech event analysis approach (Merrison, Wilson, Davies, & Haugh, 2012), we analyze both submission head act as well as optional elements like openings, small talk and closings in an email. Our exploratory study revealed that, contrary to the argument that CMC is a lean medium (Duthler, 2006) in which it is difficult to achieve interpersonal communication, through the employment of opening, small talk and closing strategies, students attended to relational goals in their email communication.

- Eslami Zohreh R

Texas A&M University

Email: zeslami@tamu.edu
College of Education Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture

- Wei-Hong KO

Texas A&M University

Email: shaun37@tamu.edu
College of Education Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture

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