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The aim of this research blog is to encourage sharing among researchers on the topic of linguistic politeness and pragmatics. This platform has been made accessible to public since 31 July 2013.

An Online Discussion & Resource Network
–Multilingual; Cross-Disciplinary (Business, Linguistics, Psychology, Sociology, etc.)
–Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, other Southeast Asian Subgroups & Clusters (Chinese, Indian, Malay, Peranakan, etc.)
–Undergraduates, Postgraduates and Scholars

Register at: sealinguist@gmail.com
(include full name and affiliation)

Intercultural Communication in Korea

  (Image from worldtradedaily.com)

“Traditionally, management researchers have not even taken into account host country language proficiency, expecting the cultural distance index (Kogut & Singh, 1988) to capture all relevant aspects of intercultural interactions […] The present study focuses on English-language teachers because, despite a sharp increase in the number of English-language teachers in East Asia, few studies have focused on them. For example, there are more than 30,000 foreigners teaching English in Korea, whereas there are only 7000 corporate expatriates (Korea Immigration Office, 2010).” Read more…  communication-teachers-ijir-2012-1.pdf


** For comprehensive lists of Linguistics conferences in 2015 and 2016, please click “Conferences” on the right-hand column of this website.

On Impoliteness and Taking Offence


  (Image from depositphotos.com)

Here’s another article by Michael Haugh: haugh_impoliteness-and-taking-offence.pdf

The notion of “offence” lies at the core of current models of impoliteness. Yet is also well
acknowledged that being impolite is not necessarily the same thing as being offended. In this
paper, it is suggested that previous work on causing offence (Culpeper, 2011) can be usefully
complemented by an analysis of taking offence. It is proposed that taking offence can be
productively examined with respect to a model of (im)politeness as interactional social
practice (Haugh, 2015). On this view, taking offence is analysed in part as a social action in
and of itself, which means those persons registering or sanctioning offence in an interaction,
whether explicitly or implicitly, can themselves be held morally accountable for this taking of
offence. It is further suggested that taking offence as a social action can be productively
theorised as a pragmatic act which is invariably situated with respect to particular activity
types and interactional projects therein (Culpeper and Haugh, 2014). This position is
illustrated by drawing from analyses of initial interactions amongst speakers of (American
and Australian) English who are not previously acquainted. It is suggested that ways in which
taking offence are accomplished are both afforded and constrained by the demonstrable
orientation on the part of participants to agreeability in the course of getting acquainted.

A Dictionary on Nguyen Trai’s Language

Nom* scholar, Tran Trong Duong, has published a dictionary in 2014 to help those who want to understand the profound poems of Nguyen Trai ( 阮廌 1380–1442), who was a politician, tactician, and scholar-advisor to Emperor Le Loi (1428–1433).  Understanding the language of Nguyen Trai’s creations is the first step before further analysis of his works can be made.
*Nom was the script made up of Chinese-like characters used approximately from the 12th century to the 19th century to record the Vietnamese language.  Nom publications focused on poetry, history, medicine and religion.
Read more:


Language planning; script reforms (4)

(Image of a Teochew temple from http://www.stasiareport.com)

I used to follow a “semi-phonetic” transcription convention several years ago when I presented a sociolinguistics paper on the Teochew in Vietnam. The transcription comprised a mixture of phonetic symbols and Roman letters.

I have realized that the Guangzhou Educational Administration standardized the transcription of Teochew as early as in the 1960s.  This transcription facilitates reading and comprehension among those who prefer to read Teochew in the Romanized form. There is another transcription method based on the Chinese script which is used by those who publish in the Chinese language.  For easier typing, I prefer the Romanized transcription.

I am posting materials on the Romanized transcription as well as a description of the dialect and of the difficulties encountered by the Teochew in their learning of Mandarin (Putonghua). The materials are extracted from 普通话  潮汕方言  常用字典 published by  广东人民出版社 in 1979.


Teochew vowels and consonants can be heard at:


(However, some sounds on the chart are not read so you might get confused trying to follow the chart!)