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date: 14 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The central role of English in cross-cultural communication worldwide has made it a unique site for understanding diversity in systems of discourse pragmatics. In contact situations, these differences can help to refine theoretical models, such as the question of how universal speech acts or properties of facework and politeness are. They can also have significant real-world implications in the form of cross-cultural (mis-) communication in globalized contexts. This chapter reviews a selection of examples of speech acts and politeness in World Englishes contexts that use theoretical models to account for variation, but in some instances also challenge elements of such models. The discussion also includes a consideration of variation in surface form as well as variation in discourse other than conversational speech, such as written genres.

Keywords: World Englishes, pragmatics, discourse, speech, politeness, face, speech acts, genre, cross-cultural communication, writing

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