Convergence in the rhetorical pattern of directness and indirectness in Chinese and U.S. business letters

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Abstract

This article examines rhetorical patterns in claim letters from two universities, one in China and one in the United States, to see whether these patterns are convergent. A genre-based textual analysis of the claim letters, written by two different cultural groups of participants, found that both groups of letters display a similar rhetorical preference for directness and indirectness. The author explores how local contextual factors have contributed to these groups of participants' preference for similar rhetorical patterns and calls for the integration of contextual factors in intercultural rhetoric research, practice, and pedagogy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-120
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Business and Technical Communication
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Claim letter
  • Contextual factors
  • Convergence
  • Directness and indirectness
  • Indigenous language practices
  • Intercultural rhetoric
  • Rhetorical pattern

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