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Cross-Cultural Pragmatic Failure in Computer-Mediated Communication

Author(s): Martina Baumer | Henriette van Rensburg

Journal: Coolabah
ISSN 1988-5946

Volume: 5;
Start page: 34;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: cross-cultural pragmatic failure | computer-mediated communication | politeness

The study reported in this paper examines the occurrence of cross-culturalmisunderstandings in computer-mediated communication (CMC). CMC has become a partof many people’s everyday life; rules of language practice such as politeness and othercharacteristics of relational communication are blurred. The study will expose subtleconducts that are language and culture specific. It will further explore how these social andculture factors influence language use of native and non-native English speaking nationaland international postgraduate Education students. In particular, the positive and negativetactics and the depiction of relational regularities and patterns prove to be useful to uncovercross-cultural interactions. Questions that arise are: What is considerate as polite andacceptable and what is rude and intolerable in CMC? Is politeness a luxury we no longercan or want to afford? How is this affecting cross-cultural communication and negotiationin CMC?
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