Facework and Rhetorical Strategies in Intercultural Argumentative Discourse

Argumentation 12 (2):167-181 (1998)
Intercultural discourse (especially via a lingua franca when interlocutors have a false impression that they are speaking one and the same language) adds a new dimension – facework (the establishment of culture-sensitive politeness strategies) – to the theory and practice of argumentation from a number of perspectives: its specificity as compared to ordinary argumentational discourse, the interpretation of the concept of incommensurability, and the conduct of international negotiations. Politeness systems relevant for different cultures are not unpredictable, but represent linguistically and cognitively a highly generalised universal system which can be adopted by interlocutors and used in practical discourse. Politeness expressions are governed by linguistic components – by language forms of a certain type and by specific discourse patterns. The proper choice of language forms and discourse patterns adds a special dimension to argumentative schemata. The politeness-relevant packaging of discourse adds a zero-step to the normative stages of an argumentative discussion (establishing hierarchical relations as such), and needs permanent alignment of these relations, by using correct language forms and discourse patterns
Keywords facework  incommensurability  intercultural discourse  lingua franca  rhetorical strategies
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