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北京第二外国语学院学报  2019, Vol. 41 Issue (4): 88-103    DOI: 10.12002/j.bisu.233
Rapport Management in Intercultural Interaction —A Case Study on Emails
Jihong Wu
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou 510420, China
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关键词: 和谐关系管理跨文化交际面子敏感性权利和义务语言选择电子邮件    

Communication involves both information exchange and relationship building. Based on studies on politeness and face, Spencer-Oatey puts forward the rapport management theory, which has been widely used in research on intercultural communication, pragmatics and intercultural business communication. This paper applies genre analysis to the email discourses collected and explores, within the theoretical framework of rapport management, the impact of contextual, social and individual factors on rapport management as well as the use of rapport management strategy in intercultural communication. The research shows that effective rapport management depends on mutual sensitivity and on each interlocutor finding an appropriate balance between meeting their own needs and the needs of others. In intercultural interaction, participants not only have to develop a keen awareness of contextual factors, including interaction goals and the nature of the communicative activity, but also individual factors, including participant relations, the rights and obligations of people’s roles, and face sensitivity. More importantly, individual factors should be given due consideration, including emotion regulation and stylistic flexibility. The former relates to the competence to handle criticism or embarrassment and to get along with people who hold different views and values; the latter relates to the competence to make use of a wide range of linguistic options each language provides for managing rapport. It’s hoped that the research may enable us to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the factors that influence people’s dynamic judgment or rapport, which is essential to understanding the problems that occur in intercultural interaction and to approaching these problems with efficient rapport management skills.

Key words: rapport management    intercultural communication    face sensitivity    rights and obligations    linguistic options    email
收稿日期: 2017-06-13 出版日期: 2019-11-27
PACS:  H312  
基金资助: 本文为2019年广东外语外贸大学特色创新项目“BELF商务电子邮件语篇特征研究”(项目编号:19SS14)的阶段性成果
作者简介: 武继红,广东外语外贸大学教授,510420,研究方向:应用语言学,认知语言学,跨文化交际。电子邮箱
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武继红. 跨文化交际中的和谐关系管理研究——基于电子邮件的个案研究[J]. 北京第二外国语学院学报, 2019, 41(4): 88-103.

Jihong Wu. Rapport Management in Intercultural Interaction —A Case Study on Emails. Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2019, 41(4): 88-103.


语境意识 对交际事件核心特征(参与者之间的关系、不同角色的权利和义务以及交际活动的类型)的敏感意识
和谐关系意识 关注交际者的面子敏感度、行为预期和交际目的并对其进行有效管理的能力
社交信息收集能力 通过询问、观察收集与交际情景的相关信息(如交际者的角色和地位)的能力
社会微调能力 运用间接语言符号如辅助语言、身体语言推断社会意义(他人的印象和情绪)的能力
情感调节能力 灵活应对批评和麻烦、和具有不同价值观的人共处的能力
语体调试能力 灵活运用各种语言策略顾及他人对和谐关系需求的能力
表1  和谐关系管理能力(Spencer-Oatey & Franklin,2009)
策略属性 诉求策略 例证
直接 意愿陈述 I surely want you and Susan to know that I’m not lying about anything
需求陈述 I have to fill in some forms
常规间接 询问预设 Could you help me with the certificate
非常规间接 暗指 I’m going to return to China on 30 July
I’ve talked about it with her
I have attached a sample for your reference
表2  Li在邮件中使用的诉求策略
策略属性 回应策略 例证
明确 接受诉求 I will issue this letter via email
she will approve the report nonetheless
The letter you wanted me to sign is waiting for you
隐晦 替代 If you require an official signature from Ellen,please leave the report in the box outside her office
后果陈述 If you have written the reference yourself,I must inform you that this is considered fraudulent to impersonate a member of staff to complete your report
质疑 I’m a little puzzled,she does not agree with your account
I have no recollection of talking with you
批评 If you wanted me to sign something for you,it would have been better to email and ask me
表3  Susan和Ellen在邮件中使用的回应策略
句法缓和语 语言策略 例证
虚拟语气 缓和 If you wanted me to sign something for you,it would have been better to email and ask me(Ellen)
Should you...(Susan)
过去时态 缓和 Could you help me with the certificate(Li)
被动语态 缓和 Ellen’s signature is wanted(Li) advised(Susan)
表4  句法特征
策略属性 语言策略 例证
词汇缓和语 缓和 I think,please(Li)
I’m afraid,I hope(Ellen)
委婉 She does not agree with your account(Susan)
模糊 a little,nonetheless(Susan)
词汇强化语 强化 absolutely,surely,actually(Li)
表5  词汇特征
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