Edited By Markus Bieswanger and Amei Koll-Stobbe
IV. Variability in electronically-mediated communication
V. Variability in electronically-mediated communication Apologies and excuses in academic e-mail communication: Differentiation and characterization from a pragmatic perspective Jana Kiesendahl1 Introduction Apologies are a communicative practice of everyday life, appearing both in pri- vate and institutional communication when social norms are (supposedly) vio- lated. With the help of apologies, people express how they describe, interpret and evaluate their own actions and those of others (cf. Wunderlich 1976: 32). Apologies require a high degree of communicative competence: the recipi- ents’ expectations must be anticipated, the communication situation must be considered and finally an appropriate phrasing as well as convincing arguments must be found (cf. Weidacher 2011: 51). In asynchronous written communica- tion, there is no possibility for immediate feedback,2 which is why the sender has to plan his/her text from the outset in the best possible way to achieve his/her goal. Linguistic action patterns relieve the speaker from this complex task by providing conventionalized phrases for recurring communicative pur- poses. In earlier studies (e.g. Weidacher 2011), apologies referring to past behav- iour as well as excuses referring to future behaviour were included in the corpus and were thought to be identical speech acts. However, in my earlier study about academic e-mail communication (Kiesendahl 2011), I distinguished them on the basis of their reference points in time. I therefore call apologies referring to past behaviour apologies and those referring to a future event excuses. So far it has not been empirically tested whether apologies referring to a past behaviour and...
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.