Evaluating while justifying intercultural requests

Chung Kwong Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Research into the speech-act request performed by people of different cultures operationalized at levels including nation, community of practice, and L2 speakers has identified and discussed sets of culture-related request-making behaviors. The findings of this research suggest that differences exist among cultures in request-making behaviors concerning the use and choice of request directness and strategies, rhetorical approaches, and internal and external modifications. The present study, with an intercultural orientation, focused on an external request modification element - grounder, an element that can function to build solidarity while justifying the request. The lexicogrammar used by both Chinese and non-Chinese professionals in textualizing the grounders accompanying their intercultural English requests made via email was analyzed using Appraisal Theory. The use of evaluative language in intercultural request grounders was then compared with that in intracultural ones. The findings indicate that while both Chinese and non-Chinese professionals demonstrated positive accommodative evaluative behavior in the construction of the discourse of intercultural request grounders, the non-Chinese professionals showed a stronger willingness to accommodate than the Chinese professionals. Possible reasons for the accommodation behavior demonstrated by the professionals of the two different cultures were offered and discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-602
Number of pages28
JournalIntercultural Pragmatics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • appraisal theory
  • evaluative language
  • grounders
  • request
  • speech acts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


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