Impoliteness and Emotional Appeals in Academic Email Negotiations of Saudis and Australians

Amerah Abdullah Alsharif


The study contributes to the growing body of literature on cross-cultural variations in persuasive appeals by examining email communication for academic proposal purposes. In contrast to previous studies that focused on letters or newspaper articles, this study offers a more nuanced analysis by exploring the use of impoliteness frameworks and persuasive appeals within a genre analysis. Specifically, the study compares email data written by twenty Australians and a hundred Saudis and examines gender and cultural differences in the use of emotional/affective appeals and (im)polite moves. The findings reveal that Saudis, particularly males, use more pressuring tactics, such as imposition tactics, under the affective appeal, while Australians employ fewer emotional/affective appeals in comparison to Saudis. Moreover, the study challenges traditional gender differences in linguistic research, with Saudi males using more affective language (than females) in communication with power imbalances due to the appreciation of a hierarchical system in high context cultures. These findings have implications for intercultural communication and the crafting of persuasive messages in various contexts, including academic proposal writing.

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Copyright (c) 2023 Amerah Abdullah Alsharif

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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