Cultural Specification of Face

Wei LI


Face is a universal phenomenon but has cultural specification. As a cultural phenomenon, face has always been a focus in social interactions. Brown and Levinson’s face theory to some extent is validated in western culture. Chinese face has its connotation; and modesty is even more important. In making sense of linguistic interactions concerning face, it is sensible to combine culture influence with face theory.


Politeness; Face; Theory

Full Text:



Bi, J. W. (1999). Cultural characteristics of indirectness. In W. Z. Hu (Ed.), Aspects of intercultural communication: Proceedings of China’s 2nd Conference on Intercultural Communication (pp.335-355). Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Researching Press.

Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1978). Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Firth, J. R. (1972). Verbal and bodily rituals of greeting and parting. In La Fontaine J. S. (Ed.), The interaction of ritual.

Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction ritual: Essays on face to face behavior. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and col, Inc.

Grice, H. P. (1975). Logic and conversation. In P. Cole & J. L. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and semantics: Speech acts. New York: Academic Press.

Gu, Y. G. (1990). Politeness phenomenon in modern Chinese. Journal of Pragmatics, (2), 237-257.

Gu, Y. G. (1994). Politeness, pragmatics and culture. In W. Z. Hu (Ed.), Culture and communication (pp.496-511). Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Researching Press.

He, Z. X., & Yu, D. M. (2000). A new introduction to pragmatics. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

He, Z. X., & Yu, D. M. (2003). Selected readings for pragmatics. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

Li, W. (2009). Different communication rules between the English and Chinese greetings. Asian Culture and History, (2), 72-74.

Li, W. (2010). The functions and use of greetings. Canadian Social Science, 6(4), 56-62.

Qian, H. S. (1996). Greetings and partings in English and Chinese: A contrastive study of linguistic routines and politeness. Beijing: The Commercial Press.

Yanagiya, K. Face, place, linguistic politeness: A reexamination of “face-work phenomenon”. Retrieved from

Yule, G. (2000). Pragmatics. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.

Zhao, W. L. (2010). An investigation of students’ face wants. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 1(1), pp.29-34.



  • There are currently no refbacks.


If you have already registered in Journal A and plan to submit article(s) to Journal B, please click the CATEGORIES, or JOURNALS A-Z on the right side of the "HOME".

We only use four mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;;

Copyright © Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture (CAOOC)
Address:730, 77e AV, Laval, Quebec, H7V 4A8, Canada

Telephone: 1-514-558 6138
Http://; Http://;