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Intercultural Miscommunication Past and Present


Edited By 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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Cultural scripts and communication style differences in three Anglo Englishes (English English, American English and Australian English). Cliff Goddard, University of New England, Australia


Cultural scripts and communication style differences in three Anglo Englishes (English English, American English and Australian English) Cliff Goddard, University of New England, Australia 1. Cultural scripts and Anglo communication styles The literature in linguistic pragmatics has thus far had relatively little to say about communication style differences between varieties of Anglo English. As Barron and Schneider (2008: 3) observe, in the first book-length collection on the pragmatics of Irish English: “Recently published overviews of some of the (regional) varieties of English ... do not consider the pragmatic level of language at all”. It is a different story in non-scholarly books, magazines, blogs, etc., where the testimony of travellers, travel writers, immigrants, and others with intercultural experience suggests that there are substantial communication style differences, even between “New World” Anglo varieties, such as American English and Australian English. Consider, for example, the following comments by the writer and film-maker Oren Siedler, whose documentary film Bruce and me is a memoir of a childhood split between her divorced parents – her American father Bruce (a con man and scammer) and her Australian mother. The young Oren had the experience of attending schools in both countries. It was, she says, “just very different”. [W]hen I was in the United States ... the brief times that I was in school ... I found that the American kids were really interested to talk to me about where I was from, and they were intrigued about Australia, and they wanted to know who I was, they wanted to...

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