Methodology of cross-cultural description of speech behaviour: A case study of invitation in German and Russian discourse

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Abstract

The article aims to demonstrate a consistent methodology for conducting cross-cultural research of verbal communication behaviour and identifying its peculiarities in different language cultures. First of all, the author discusses the problem of defining a basic unit of communication crucial for the analysis of communicative behaviour and proposes her own interpretation of such a unit called speech behaviour pattern (SBP). The illocutionary content and general organization of any SBP is considered universal, while their actual realization in a language is culturally conditioned and therefore may vary significantly in different languages. Utterances that constitute a certain SBP are organized into a field with a prototypical centre and a gradationally formed periphery, which is referred to as communicative-pragmatic field (CPF). The proposed methodology of contrastive analysis includes the following four major components: 1) definition of illocutionary purpose, 2) description of structural forms of SBP (i.e., their lexical and grammatical characteristics), 3) identifying communicative-pragmatic factors, 4) description of the structure and hierarchy of the communicative-pragmatic field that includes utterances implementing SBP. The presented approach is then consistently applied to the analysis of the SBP of INVITATION in the Russian and German discourse. The language data are taken from the existing Russian and German corpora. The proposed methodology helps to identify the main similarities and differences in the implementation of the SBP INVITATION in Russian and German driven by grammatical and communicative-pragmatic factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalGEMA Online Journal of Language Studies
Volume21
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Contrastive analysis
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • German
  • Russian
  • Speech behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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