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The sequential organisation of gift offering and acceptance in Chinese

Zhu, Hua and Li, Wei and Yuan, Q. (2000) The sequential organisation of gift offering and acceptance in Chinese. Journal of Pragmatics 32 (1), pp. 81-103. ISSN 03782166.

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This paper reports on a study of gift offering and acceptance (G.O.A.) in the Chinese cultural context. We adopt the ‘explore and discover’ approach and its two associated principles — the principle of ‘holism’ which requires that issues concerning communication patterns of a specific group of people are not divorced from the historical development, social experience, cultural beliefs and values of that group generally; and the principle of ‘emergence’ which requires that we discover structures from empirical evidence rather than pre-assigning or imposing structures. 71 instances of G.O.A. have been recorded, using a specially designed observation sheet. The sequential structure of G.O.A. is analysed, and subsequently interpreted with reference to the Chinese notion of li. It is argued that the Chinese li differs significantly from the western concept of ‘politeness’ in both content and structure, which manifests itself in the act of G.O.A., and has far-reaching implications for intercultural communication.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Gift offering and acceptance, Politeness, Sequential analysis, Chinese
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2012 14:27
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:23

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