A Contrastive Study on Disagreement Strategies for Politeness between American English & Mandarin Chinese

| March 29, 2005
Title
A Contrastive Study on Disagreement Strategies for Politeness between American English & Mandarin Chinese

Keywords: face theory, politeness systems theory, cross culture comparison, politeness strategies

Authors
LIANG Guodong & HAN Jing
University of Science and Technology of China

Bio Data
Mr. LIANG graduated from the Foreign Languages Department of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), with a BA in 2000 and an MA in 2003. He has published several academic papers in Chinese journals. Mr. Liang is currently at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics (SUFE) 777#,Guoding Road, Shanghai 200433, China.

Ms. HAN graduated from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2003 and is now working in the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology (USST).

Abstract
The purpose of this paper is to make a contrastive study of disagreement strategies for politeness between American English and Mandarin Chinese at the private interpersonal level for better EFL/ESL teaching and learning. Five scenarios for disagreement are devised for college students in USA and Chinese mainland to fill in what they would say when they disagree with the higher-status, peers and the lower-status. The discourse completion test (DCT) method is applied for data elicitation. When disagreeing with the superior, Chinese students are found to employ more politeness strategies and address forms than the American students do. In the case of peers, with the increase of social distance, both the American and Chinese students apply less and less politeness strategies. Positive correlation is found between the rates of disagreement and the change of the social distance for the Chinese students while negative correlation for the American students. When disagreeing with the sister, the Chinese male uses the least politeness strategies while the Chinese female uses the most politeness strategies. Female students behave more sensitive to politeness and use more politeness strategies than male subjects do.

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 7 Issue 1