May 2009. Volume 4 Issue 1
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The Generic Structure and Discourse Strategies Employed in Downward Request E-mails
Macquarie University, Australia
Victor Chung-kwong Ho has been a lecturer at the Language Centre of Hong Kong Baptist University and is now working as Research Associate at the university whilst undertaking his Ph.D. studies in linguistics from Macquarie University.
This paper aims to investigate the generic structure and discourse strategies employed by the leaders of a multi-cultural group of educators in making downward requests through internal e-mails. The request e-mails used in the study were addressed to either the Chinese or non-Chinese members of the group. Bhatia’s (2004) multi-perspective model of genre analysis is drawn upon to reveal the following features of the e-mails: (1) generic structures, (2) intertextuality, and (3) lexico-grammar. Different generic structures and discourse strategies were found in the e-mails. An attempt has been made to explain such generic and discoursal differences in terms of the cultural background of the e-mail users (both senders and recipients) and the rank of imposition of the requested acts.
Key words: request, genre, intertextuality, lexico-grammar