Variation in evaluations of the (im)politeness of emails from L2 learners and perceptions of the personality of their senders

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14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The present study is a perception study which investigates whether there is variation between Greek Cypriot L2 university students and English NS lecturers in how they perceive and evaluate a number of L2 direct and unmodified student emails to faculty. The study additionally investigates whether such direct and unmodified emails can have a negative effect on participants’ evaluation of the personality of the email sender. Results from the study revealed that the two groups have significantly mismatching perceptions of what is appropriate (pragmatically felicitous). Findings indicated that, in the majority of cases, the NS lecturers perceived the same email as significantly more abrupt, less polite and as not adequately acknowledging the imposition involved. In addition, the personality of the sender of the email was also evaluated significantly less favorably by the NS group than by the learners. The findings of the study have negative implications for L2 learners as social actors who need to be able to use and understand language appropriately in order to shape and form successful interpersonal relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Volume106
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016

Keywords

  • Email
  • Evaluations
  • Perceptions
  • Politeness
  • Pragmatic failure
  • Requests

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