Features of request strategies in Chinese

Research output: Working paper


As Blum-Kulka, House & Kasper 1989:1 point out, speech acts are “one of the most compelling notions in the study of language use”. The Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realisation Project (CCSARP; Blum-Kulka & Olshtain 1984) analyses two speech acts: requests and apologies across a range of languages and cultures to investigate whether there are universal pragmatic principles in speech act realisation, and what the characteristics of those universals might be.
Concerning requests, one of the most significant findings of the CCSARP was that all languages studied overwhelmingly preferred conventionally indirect request strategies (e.g. Could I borrow your notes?; Would you mind moving your car?).
However, there remains a distinct Western bias in the CCSARP: all of the languages and varieties studied (except Hebrew) are either Germanic or Romance, and all of the cultures studied are either Western or heavily influenced by Western culture.
Therefore, in this article I will focus on the strategy types of making requests classified in CCSARP to analyse the linguistic features in Chinese speakers’ speech act realisation in the hope that further evidence can be found
to support claims for a universal category of conventionally indirect requests.


  • Hong Gao
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • General Language Studies and Linguistics
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series

NameWorking Papers, Lund University, Dept. of Linguistics

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