Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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Focusing on openings of telephone service encounters, this study utilizes two sets of comparable discourse data in Chinese collected in the same linguistic community more than a decade apart to explore discoursal style changes over time. The comparative analysis examines forms, tasks and discursive interaction of the opening phase oftelephone service encounters in Shanghai, China.Differences in opening routines over time are observed, which include the adoption of institutionalized, more elaborative expressions as well as increased range of interactional tasks performed (including greeting and business self-identification) in more recent data. The findings indicate that a shift may have taken place in business discursive practices in China; it is also suggested that the style of answering telephone calls by businesses or services, or first turn of Chinese telephone service encounters, may have been in the process of being reshaped, gaining certain distinctive institutional markers, thus making such interactions somewhat distinguishable from the pick-up style for non-institutional telephone interactions at home.


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