Pragmatic Failures Study

Topics: Pragmatics, Linguistics, Western culture Pages: 13 (2924 words) Published: April 16, 2015

The Pragmatic Failure in Intercultural Communication between China and Western Countries

Student Number:26031

Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirement of the LSI Pre-Sessional course

Submitted on 26th August 2014
Teacher’s name:Jackie Parr

Abstract
Pragmatic failure means the inability to understand what is meant by what is said. It means a breakdown of intercultural communication. With the intercultural communication between China and western countries is becoming more and more frequent, pragmatic problems cannot be ignored because they may hinder the intercultural communication between the two countries. The main purpose of the project is to find out the pragmatic failure occurring in the intercultural communication between China and western countries. This project uses the method of questionnaire and the method of analyzing the reference from the previous studies to explore the pragmatic problems in the intercultural communication between China and western countries and proposes some feasible solutions for these problems. Using the method of questionnaire for Chinese people, the result shows that pragmatic failure happens frequently in several forms in intercultural communication. By analyzing the results of questionnaire and some cases of pragmatic failure in intercultural communication, the study gives some suggestions in reducing the pragmatic failures in intercultural communication.

Key Words: culture; intercultural communication; pragmatic failures

Contents

Abstract………………………………………………………………………………..i Content.........................................................................................................................ⅱ List of Appendices……………………………………………………………………ⅲ

1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………. 1 1.1 Research Questions………………………………………………………………..1 2.Previous Study on Pragmatic Failure in Intercultural Communication……………..1 3. Methodology….........................................................................................………….2 4. Findings……………………………………………………………………………. 2 5. Analyzing the Forms and the Causes of Pragmatic Failure…………………………3 5.1 Pragmatic Failures in Greetings…………………………………………………...3 5.2 Pragmatic Failure in Responding to Thanks and Compliments…………………...3 5.3 Pragmatic Failure in Privacy and Taboo…………………………………………. 3 5.4 Pragmatic Failure in Social Etiquette…………………………………………….. 4 5. Conclusion………………………………………………………………………….4 5.1 Recommendation......................................................................................................5 5.2 Limitation.................................................................................................................6 7.Declaration..................................................................................................................7 8. References…………………………………………………………………………..8 Appendices.....................................................................................................................9

List of Appendix

Questionnaire on pragmatic problems............................................................................8

1. Introduction
“Pragmatic failure” was first proposed by J. Thomas in her thesis Cross-Cultural Pragmatic Failure(1983). She states that pragmatic failure refers to “The inability to understand of what is meant by what is said” G. Leech(1983) said “the transfer of the norms of one community to another may well lead to pragmatic failure”. In other words, pragmatic failure refers to the communication breakdown because of not realizing the cultural differences. Pragmatic rules are needed in order to Levison (1983: 376) notes that there is considerable room for intercultural understanding. It is...

References: [1] Amoja T.R, Cultural etiquette: A guide for the well-intentioned. Romania: Market Wimmin, 1991.
[2] Blum-Kulka, S. Learning to say what you mean in a second language: A study of the speech act performance of learners of Hebrew as a second language. Applied Linguistics, 1982, 3(1): 29-59.
[3] Cohen, A. D.,& Olshtain, E. Developing a measure of sociocultural competence: The case of apology. Language Learning, 1981, 31(1): 113一134.
[4] Kasper, G. Four Perspectives on L2 Pragmatic Development. Linguistics. 2001, 22(4): 502-530.
[6] Levinson, S.C., Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983.
[10] Thomas, J. Cross- Cultural Pragmatic Failure. Applied Linguistics, Vol. 4, No. 2, 1983:91- 110.
[11] Verschueren Jef. Pragmatic as a Theory of Linguistic Adaptation. International Pragmatics Association, 1987.
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