Gratitude communication in academic written acknowledgement
In the existing literature, no attempt has been made to inspect how men and women rhetorically manage their gratitude communications in the academic written discourse. To bridge this knowledge gap, the present article examined how students of different gender construct their thanking acts in the acknowledgements of their M.A. theses. Discrepancies between male and female postgraduates’ employment of linguistic patterns and gratitude themes were compared. The results showed that student writers’ gratitude communications to a certain extent are conditioned by the conventional rhetorical patterns of the academic genre. Remarkable gender variations were evidenced in the students’ selections of lexical items for encoding the thanking expressions, thanking modifiers, and gratitude themes of their acknowledgements. These gender discrepancies in gratitude communications are highly pertinent to the social expectations of masculinity and femininity, the students’ psychological orientations toward the emotion of thanking and their own value priorities.
Keywords: gender variation, speech act, gratitude communication, acknowledgement, academic written discourse
Published online: 29 October 2021
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