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Analyzing Complaint Letters

  • Modern English Education
  • Abbr : MEESO
  • 2009, 10(3), pp.1-16
  • Publisher : The Modern English Education Society
  • Research Area : Humanities > English Language and Literature > English Language Teaching

An, Ock Mo 1

1경희대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study is designed to linguistically analyze the complaint letters sent by hotel guests with two intended aspects; by studying authentic correspondence to establish baseline(s) from which students can be expected to improve their ability of writing the appropriate letters of reply to their guests, and by applying a model of pragmatic politeness to written texts for tourism students to use in controling their own writing in the context of intercultural communication. The purpose of this study is to analyze how complaint is realized in the sequences of speech acts within one written text and attempts to explain how politeness strategies determine both the overall "strength" of the complaint and the sequential order of the individual speech acts. This study has found out that the analysis of a small corpus of complaint letters reveals that three speech acts – complaints, grounders (justifications), and requests – realize the speech acts of complaint, grounder and request that are also the three main elements in the genre of written complaints. There are two main levels involved in articulating a complaint. Firstly, there will be a global speech act which represents the overall purpose and strength of the complaint. Secondly, there will be a sequence of local speech acts that will serve to give expression to the global complaint and determine its elocutionary force.

Citation status

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