What functions do intertextuality and interdiscursivity serve in request e-mail discourse?

Chung Kwong Ho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to contribute to a fuller understanding of professional communication by focusing on the intertextuality and interdiscursivity of the request e-mails exchanged among a group of professional English language teachers of a public education institution in Hong Kong. The types of intertextual and interdiscursive elements incorporated in the request e-mail discourse produced by the teachers, and the possible reasons for such incorporation, are discussed in the paper. It is found that the intertextual and interdiscursive elements drawn upon by the teachers in constructing the request e-mail discourse serve four pragmatic functions: (1) distancing themselves from the discourse and thus diverting the possible forthcoming resentment to others; (2) convincing others to comply with the requests they made; (3) emphasizing selectively and strategically the various roles they were playing; and (4) managing rapport with the e-mail recipients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2534-2547
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Interdiscursivity
  • Intertextuality
  • Professional communication
  • Request e-mail

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Artificial Intelligence


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