A Contrastive Pragmatics Study of Invitations in British English and Japanese

Matsukawa, Chisa orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-9571-0803 (2024) A Contrastive Pragmatics Study of Invitations in British English and Japanese. Contrastive Pragmatics . ISSN 2666-0385

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1163/26660393-bja10113


This study offers a cross-cultural pragmatics perspective on invitations. It explores invitation sequences in a symmetrical invitation-refusal situation, performed by 20 female native speakers of British English and 20 female native speakers of Japanese, from a discursive approach using role plays. The qualitative analysis of the data obtained from the adapted version of conversation analysis revealed some similarities and differences in turn designs of the English and the Japanese invitations. Although pre-sequences were highly frequent in the English data, they were more so in the Japanese data. The analysis of the linguistic formats of the invitations in the two sets of data revealed that an approach to handle uncertainty seen in the cases where the invitation was initiated with a preface differed - the English speakers used a syntactic solution whereas the Japanese speakers used a sequential solution. These findings highlight the importance of analysing speech acts in situated interactions.

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