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An Analysis of BELF Small Talk: A First Encounter

  • Akiko OtsuEmail author
Chapter
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Abstract

While businesspeople recognise that skilful management of small talk is extremely important to establish and maintain a good working relationship, it is often difficult for them to have small talk, off their usual business topics. It is reported to be even more difficult when they meet for the first time. This chapter analyses small talk between two BELF (English as a business lingua franca) users, a Japanese architect and a Malaysian hotel employee, who meet for the first time. With a conversation analytic approach, the analysis reveals two features of the talk-in-interactions: (i) the way in which the interactants pay careful attention to the selection of topics and the flow of conversation in order to save face or to avoid disturbing territoriality of another party, and (ii) the way in which the interactants work collaboratively to make their communication successful by using a variety of communication strategies.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English LanguageDaito Bunka UniversityTokyoJapan

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