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Abstract

Abstract

This study conducts a pragmatic analysis of 192 apologies that were made by retailers in response to customer complaints posted on a leading Chinese online shopping website. Each collected apology is coded for the components of the apology and the strategies used to build rapport. The choice of the apology components and the exhibited rapport-building strategies are interpreted in the light of wider work in the field of politeness in Chinese. Results of this study extend the pragmatic analyses of public apologies by identifying the distinctive features of apologies occurring on Chinese online shopping websites, i.e., relatively infrequent use of the statement of responsibility and the greater use of offers of repair. Although the language on Chinese online shopping websites is often considered informal, the study found that a number of linguistic components are used by the online sellers as forms of politeness to repair the relationship with the complainers.

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/content/journals/10.1075/ps.22041.yan
2024-06-21
2024-07-23
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: complaints ; rapport building ; online shopping websites ; face repair ; public apologies ; politeness
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