Intercultural Politeness Strategies in the Language of the Indian BPO Industry
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This is a data-gathering study into the cross-cultural politeness strategies evident in the discourse and grammar of Indian English speaking professionals working in the BPO industry. Using the data gathered in the India Map Task (Cowie & Pande 2011) experiment, transcriptions were made of a random selection of 5 Indian participants performing a total of 10 map task dialogues, one each with an American partner and an Indian partner. Using the move coding scheme developed by the Human Communication Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh (Carletta et al. 1996), instructions were isolated in the dialogues and analyzed for dialogue strategies, individual instruct speech acts, and salient grammatical features like modal and quasi-modal verb constructions. Results are tabulated and analyzed in depth and compared to a control group of Scottish speakers performing a similar task. The findings are (1) that the Indian speakers appear to prefer less direct approaches to giving instructions than the Scottish participants, and (2) the Indian speakers shift in behavior at the speech act level and below when instructing American followers, while retaining the same favored dialogue strategy overall in both situations.