How written communication is changing under the influence of electronic media and new contexts of use
Part Two: Communicating in BELF
125 Part Two Communicating in BELF 126 127 VI. Communicating in Business Contexts As a consequence of globalization and the resulting wave of interna- tional mergers and acquisitions, which have prompted the emergence of new types of company networks and partnerships, the members and employees of ‘modern’ corporations have been led to use En- glish professionally in a business context which is no longer national, but rather international and intercultural, as shown by Harris and Bargiela-Chiappini’s model: Figure 1. Cross-/intercultural business discourse (Harris/Bargiela-Chiappini 1997: 14). All the components of this model interact in dynamic and interesting ways, shaping business discourse. In the first place, individual lan- guage systems encode reality in different ways, as “language is not a neutral vehicle” (Hofstede 1993: 87). This means that interlocutors are not led by the same picture of the universe (Fishman 1974: 65). 128 Therefore, even though the interactants coming from different lin- gua-cultural backgrounds may choose a common code, this is bound to undergo the influence of the local L1s of its users, to a lesser or greater degree, depending on the addresser’s intended communica- tive purpose, as well as the influence of the corporate and national culture(s) involved. Nowadays, English represents the unique means available for interacting not only with the ‘outside world’, but also inside the same company. Indeed, as one manager said, English is the chosen lan- guage of business and commerce because “it puts us all at an equal disadvantage” (cited in Bryson 1990: 2). Arguably, more...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.