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Intercultural Pragmatics

Editor-in-Chief: Kecskes, Istvan

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Volume 6, Issue 3


Mutual understanding as a procedural achievement in intercultural interaction

Shiao-Yun Chiang
Published Online: 2009-07-14 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IPRG.2009.019


This paper proposes that mutual understanding is a procedural achievement in intercultural interaction. Drawing on SLA and LSI studies, this paper examines the specific procedures in which understanding troubles are displayed and managed in a number of dyadic interactions between international teaching assistants and American college students in office hours. The close analyses of these interactions revealed that understanding troubles might occur in the forms of non-understanding, misunderstanding, and understanding with uncertainty, and that mutual understanding could be procedurally achieved in the give and take of communication. The findings here suggest that interactional skills should be included as an integral part of intercultural competence in the study of pragmatics.

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Published Online: 2009-07-14

Published in Print: 2009-07-01

Citation Information: Intercultural Pragmatics, Volume 6, Issue 3, Pages 367–394, ISSN (Online) 1613-365X, ISSN (Print) 1612-295X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/IPRG.2009.019.

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