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Kulturmöten, textmönster och förhållningssätt: Första- och andraspråksskrivande i några svenska brevgenrer
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.
2002 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Cultural encounters, rhetorical patterns and social strategies : First- and second-language writers of certain genres of letters in Swedish (English)
Abstract [en]

To form well written texts in a culture where the norms for writing are changing is difficult for both native and non-native writers. Moreover, deviations from the norm among non-native writers can be explained by inadequate command of formal and pragmatic knowledge of the new language or a disinclination in non-native writers to accept socio-cultural rules, different from their own.

The present study deals with three genres of letters: application, request and apology. The main aim of the thesis is to describe and explain similarities and differences in communicative competence as this is evidenced in three Swedish letters written by 120 adult informants, 20 women and 20 men from three different cultures: Latin-American, Persian, and Swedish. The material consists of 360 letters. The influence of gender is also taken into account.

The length of letters and the number of moves are described and discussed. However, the main analysis has been carried out on two different structural levels: examining the rhetorical pattern of the texts and describing the linguistic realization of the moves.

The rhetorical pattern and length of text vary with both culture, gender and genre. The most conventional rhetorical pattern is used in the letter of application by the Swedish and Latin-American groups. The other letters vary more. The analysis of the opening and ending moves of the three letters singles out the Persians as more informal and personal.

The speech acts of applying, requesting, and apologizing differ in directness and formality between cultures and gender. Often men are more direct and formal than women. Emotional instead of rational arguments are found in some non-native letters, especially in the letters of request and apology. Expressions of gratitude are abundant in native women’s letters.

The study reveals some salient features related to both culture and gender. This indicates the necessity to heighten awareness of diverging communicative patterns in a multicultural society.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Institutionen för nordiska språk , 2002. , 231 p.
Skrifter, ISSN 0083-4661 ; 60
Keyword [en]
Scandinavian languages - general, intercultural communication, communicative competence, politeness, rhetorical patterns, gender, first-language writing, second-language writing, letter of application, letter of request, letter of apology, Swedish
Keyword [sv]
Nordiska språk - allmänt
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-2957ISBN: 91-506-1635-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-2957DiVA: diva2:162174
Public defence
2002-11-30, Ihresalen, Språkvetenskapligt centrum, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2002-11-08 Created: 2002-11-08Bibliographically approved

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