Publication details [#67370]

Zhu, Weihua. 2017. How do Chinese speakers of English manage rapport in extended concurrent speech? Multilingua 36 (2) : 181–204.


This study integrates Spencer-Oatey’s (2008) rapport management model with the community of practice model (Wenger 1998) to investigate extended concurrent speech for floor taking or topic switching. Data are derived from approximately 49 hours of conversations at the English-Corner community of practice and follow-up interviews with ten of the participants. Interactional sociolinguistic methods are employed. Extended concurrent speech for floor taking or topic switching is found to be used as a resource for rapport management. Most of the instances appear to be face-maintaining and rapport-maintaining; some were face-enhancing and rapport-enhancing. The few potentially face-threatening instances turn out to be rapport-maintaining. These might result from the participants’ interactional goals, rights preservation, or identity revelation/negotiation, and the informality of the context. The ten interviewees provide insights that corroborate the analysis.