Request Patterns in Chinese and German
A Cross-cultural Study
The main objective of this book is to study request patterns of Chinese and German with respect to various cultural and social values. The data collected from Chinese and German native speakers were used to study similarities and differences in realization patterns of requests across Chinese and German under relatively similar social constraints. The effects of social variables such as distance, power and familiarity on the realization patterns of requests within Chinese and German were also examined and evaluated. The research was conducted by applying speech act theory as well as pragmatic and sociolinguistic analyses to request patterns in Chinese and German.
The most general finding is that German requests have higher levels of directness and lower levels of politeness, and Chinese ones have lower levels of directness and higher levels of politeness. A comparison of the data obtained from the questionnaire with those from previous studies shows a minor difference in stressing what factors are among the most significant ones in affecting people's rpequest patterns. It is suggested in this research that CULTURE be stressed as equally important as social distance and power, since many differences in request patterns are due to cultural factors. This research found as well that within German and Chinese, social and situational factors are among the most important factors in determining one's choice of request patterns. The findings of this study contribute directly to the analysis of request patterns in pragmatics. Furthermore, the results will enrich the cross-cultural study on requests by adding the Chinese language, which has not been studied by most of the major cross-cultural studies.
ISBN 9783929075991. LINCOM Studies in Pragmatics 01. 1998.