Cross-Cultural Comparisons of English Request Speech Acts in Native Speakers of English and Chinese
This paper aims at comparing the uses of the English request speech acts in native speakers of English and Chinese. An oral discourse completion task (ODCT) was used to collect data and the chi-square analysis method was applied to examine the data. From the results, the comparisons of request strategies and internal modifications between Chinese and English native speakers showed no significant differences; both groups frequently used indirect strategies. However, with regard to the use of alerts and external modifications, significant differences were found between these two groups. Further results also indicated the effects of social status and familiarity on both groups. To interlocutor in higher status, both groups showed significantly different usages of internal and external modifications. As to interlocutors in equal status, they performed different request strategies, alerts and external modifications. In addition, significant differences were found in the use of alerts to interlocutors in lower social status. To familiar interlocutors, both groups showed different usages in alerts and external modifications. To unfamiliar interlocutors, significant differences were also found in the use of alerts and external modifications. At last, Chinese native speakers with high and low proficiency levels showed significantly different usages in alerts.
Key words: English request speech act; Oral discourse completion task; Chi-square analysis; English native speaker; Chinese native speaker
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