BELF in Chinese-Italian Business Negotiations: A corpus-assisted case-study of communicative strategies. Glen Michael Alessi Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia Dipartimento di Comunicazione ed Economia This paper addresses issues of Business English as a Lingua Franca (BELF ) in the context of spoken and written business communications between Italian and Chinese interlocutors. The first section examines communicative strategies used in spoken BELF during negotiations between a Modena based import-marketing firm and their mainland Chinese suppliers, while the second section looks at strategies used in written correspondence , with particular regard to unsolicited Chinese "sales letters"in email format. The methodology of this case study combines, qualitative close conversation analysis (Levinson 1983/7, Handford 2010), along with from corpus-assisted analysis (CADS: Stubbs 1996, Partington 2008) and ELF interactional pragmatic perspectives (Cogo, Dewey 2012). Evaluations also included observations on intercultural ELF strategies and cross-cultural L1 strategies (Hofstede, 1991, Gesteland, 2003 and Spencer-Oatey, Xing 2008). The focus of part one is to examine how Italian and Chinese interlocutors employ spoken conventions in workplace ELF to acheive cooperation and to avoid miscommunication, and, in response to the Italian company's requests, it also attempts to point out communicative shortcomings and furnish recommendations to the Italian company on how future interaction might be improved. A corpus of 30 minutes of taped and transcribed negotiations, comprised of 787 turns with 19,140 tokens, were examined using Wordsmith Tools and Sketch Engine to isolate relevant conversational features which included: turn-taking, turn-giving, turn-keeping, starters, verbal fillers, uptakes, alerts, meta-comments, silent pauses, repetition, politeness strategies, hedging and tag questions. Results revealed conscious efforts, on the part of the Chinese participants, to establish politeness while maintaining distance and formality. The Italians used interactional strategies which often neglected distinctions between non-understanding and misunderstanding, and generally furnished far fewer supportive moves (back-channel, repetition, reformulation) while at the same time they regularly provided dispreferred response formats. References Brown, Penelope, and Stephen C. Levinson. Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1987. Print. Cogo, Alessia, and Martin Dewey. Analyzing English as a Lingua Franca: A Corpus- driven Investigation. London: Continuum, 2012. Print. Gesteland, Richard R. Cross-cultural Business Behavior: Marketing, Negotiating, Sourcing and Managing across Cultures. Copenhagen: Copenhagen Business School, 2003. Print. Hall, Edward T., and Mildred Reed. Hall. Understanding Cultural Differences:. Yarmouth: Intercultural, 1996. Print. Handford, Michael. The Language of Business Meetings. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010. Print. Hofstede, Geert H., Gert Jan Hofstede, and Michael Minkov. Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind: Intercultural Cooperation and Its Importance for Survival. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print. Levinson, Stephen C. Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1983. Print. Partington, Alan, Alison Duguid, and Charlotte Taylor. Patterns and Meanings in Discourse: Theory and Practice in Corpus-assisted Discourse Studies (CADS). Amsterdam: Benjamins, 2013. Print. Spencer-Oatey, Helen. Culturally Speaking: Culture, Communication and Politeness Theory. London: Continuum, 2008. Print. Stubbs, Michael. Text and Corpus Analysis: Computer-assisted Studies of Language and Culture. Oxford, OX, UK: Blackwell, 1996. Print.
Business English as a lingua franca in Chinese-Italian business negotiations: A corpus assisted case study of communicative strategies / Alessi, Glen Michael. - (2015). (Intervento presentato al convegno ALAAP 2015 tenutosi a UNIMI Dipartimento di Scienze della Mediazione Linguistica e di Studi Inerculturali nel 5-7 Novembre 2015).