A Contrastive Study of Service Staff's Responses to Requests in Dunhuang and Lanzhou

Si Liu, Yi Yang, Yao Yin


Contrastive studies conducted from the perspective of variation pragmatics between two cities in northwestern China were rarely seen in studying requests and its responses. This study focuses on the politeness strategies employed in responses to the speech act of request in the service industry of Lanzhou and Dunhuang, aiming to provide useful indications from the perspective of speakers’ politeness perception and practice. By a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, this study attempted to explore how the two influencing factors-age and gender-impact on the responses of Lanzhou and Dunhuang service staff to customers’ requests. This study found significant differences between different gender and age groups. Both Dunhuang and Lanzhou service staff were politer to males than females; young customers tended to receive more politer responses than the elderly. Moreover, service staff of Dunhuang tended to be politer when responding to requests than those of Lanzhou.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v11i6.16029

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