Managing criticisms in US-based and Taiwan-based reality talent contests: A cross-linguistic comparison

Chihsia Tang

Abstract

This research studied how English and Chinese speakers encode their criticisms in the media discourse, aiming to explore the correlation between the speakers’ applications of pragmalinguistic strategies and their sociocultural orientations. Criticisms analyzed in the present study were collected from evaluative communications elicited from the US-based talent competition Project Runway and the Taiwan-based talent competition Super Designer. The current analysis of the face attack act referred to Brown and Levinson’s politeness framework and face notion. The results showed different frequencies of criticizing strategies and redressive devices in the English and Chinese sub-corpora. In addition, the findings also manifested some cross-language variations in pragmalinguistic representation of the same criticizing strategy. The discrepancies were discussed from the perspective of context orientation of the American and Taiwanese societies, evidencing the strong linkage between the speakers’ communication patterns and the cultural norms of their social networks.

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