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Requests in American and British English

A contrastive multi-method analysis

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This volume encompasses a thorough examination of the use of request strategies on two contrastive dimensions. On the cross-cultural dimension, it compares the use of British and American English request strategies in naturally occurring informal conversations. The conversational data are retrieved from the International Corpus of English (ICE) and the Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English. On the methodological dimension, it systematically compares request strategies and their frequency distributions in the conversational data to questionnaire-based requests. Highlighting various instrument-induced effects, the volume challenges the validity of one of the most widely used and accepted data collection tools in pragmatics research, the DCT.

The extensive data analysis contained in the volume includes a wide range of linguistic variables including mitigating and aggravating modification strategies and their interaction with head act directness levels. While it focuses on the first-pair part, the book also offers an analysis of request responses from a cross-cultural perspective.

The findings of the study contribute new insights to research on requests, politeness, variational pragmatics, and general research methodology.

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