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Intercultural Miscommunication Past and Present

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Barbara Kryk-Kastovsky

Miscommunication has always intrigued researchers in and outside linguistics. This book takes a different perspective from what has been proposed so far and postulates a case for intercultural miscommunication as a linguistically-based phenomenon in various intercultural milieus. The contributions address cases of intercultural miscommunication in potentially confrontational contexts, like professional communities of practice, intercultural differences in various English-speaking countries, political discourse, classroom discourse, or the discourse of the past. The frameworks employed include cultural scripts, critical discourse analysis, lexicographic analysis, glosses of untranslatable terms, and diachronic pragmatics. The book shows the omnipresence of miscommunication, ranging from everyday exchanges through classroom discourse, professional encounters, to literary contexts and political debates, past and present.

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Introduction

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Barbara Kryk-Kastovsky The notion of miscommunication has been claimed as an area of interest in various disciplines: theory of communication, ethnomethodology, intercultural studies, dis- course analysis, and many more, cf. e.g. Carbaugh (1990), Coupland et al. (1991), Kotthoff and Spencer-Oatey (2007), Scollon and Scollon (1995). The present volume takes a somewhat different angle than all the interdisciplinary studies and proposes a reverse order, i.e. from linguistic issues to intercultural phenomena, thus postulating a case for intercultural miscommunication as a linguistically-based phenomenon in vari- ous intercultural milieus. The contributions to this volume address a wide spectrum of instances of intercul- tural miscommunication in various (possibly confrontational) discourses and employ a number of analytical tools to tackle the problem. These range from miscommunication in professional communities of practice, through cultural scripts, discourse-analytic investigations (professional or political discourse as opposed to literary or everyday discourse), and finally discourse of the past accountable for within the framework of diachronic pragmatics. Two of the papers on institutional and workplace settings discuss the problems in communication occurring in the academic community of practice. In her contribution “Concessivity in scholarly prose: An inter-cultural study” Zofia Golebiowski investi- gates contrastive rhetorical strategies used in three sociology research papers written in English and published in international sociological journals. The papers have been written by scholars of different linguistic-cultural backgrounds: the first is authored by native speakers of English, the second by a Polish scholar now working in an Anglo community, and the third by a Polish writer from the...

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