1887
Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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Abstract

Abstract

Previous studies on common ground (CG, for short) have mainly focused on its definition and functions in various daily interactions. Few studies explore the linguistic manipulations of CG in cross-cultural business interactions. This paper aims to fill in this gap by examining how sellers and buyers manipulate linguistic actions of activating, seeking and creating CG to make a deal. This study instantiates and develops Kecskes’ (2013) CG model. Based on qualitative analysis of data collected from email interactions between Chinese sellers and Australian buyers, I find that (1) Interlocutors often activate their core CG through manipulating frequency markers such as “again”, and epistemic markers such as “I knew”, “you know”, “might”; (2) Interlocutors seek core CG and emergent CG by manipulating epistemic markers such as “I’m sure”; (3) Interlocutors often bring the third party or element into the communication to create emergent CG by using question markers such as “you see?”, imperative markers such as “Do you understand!”, and narrative markers like “I tell you” and “once” or “before”; (4) The interpersonal manipulations of CG construction contribute to business integrity and reliability because the more efforts interlocutors make to activate, seek, and create CG, the more clarified and acceptable their business relations become in business communication. For the purpose of validating what I have found, I conduct a quantitative study of linguistic means of constructing CG in the Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English (SBCSAE), and summarize the typical linguistic means of activating, seeking, and creating CG in various settings.

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2022-06-23
2022-08-12
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