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Conference Information

Full Title: Discourse of Daily Interaction across Borders and Disciplines

Location: New Delhi, India
Start Date: 08-Sep-2013 - 13-Sep-2013
Contact: Svetlana Kurtes
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting Description: Discourse of Daily Interaction across Borders and Disciplines: Forms of Address Revisited
Panel at the 13th International Pragmatics Conference (IPrA)

Panel Convenors:

Dr Svetlana Kurtes (University of Portsmouth, UK)
Professor Tatiana Larina (Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, Russia)


Professor Neelakshi Suryanarayan (University of New Delhi, India)

The panel is organised by the European Network for Intercultural Education Activities (ENIEDA), a collaborative academic network exploring innovative initiatives that promote the values of plurilingualism, democratic citizenship and intercultural cooperation. Focusing on Europe in geographical and geo-political terms primarily, but not exclusively, ENIEDA is committed to exploring issues in linguistic and intercultural education across geographical and disciplinary boundaries (

The panel, while remaining open to additional contributions, intends to present some key findings of an ongoing research initiative investigating a range of issues within the scope of the discourse of daily interaction, cross-culturally and trans-nationally. Phase 1 one of the initiative looks into the specifics of how cultural differences impact on cultural values, social categories and, ultimately, communicative styles, focusing initially on forms of address (Larina and Suryanarayan 2012). Countries currently included in the investigation are India, Russia, Serbia, Montenegro, Portugal and the UK.

In an attempt to disambiguate the correlation between the discourse of daily interaction and its socio-cultural embeddedness, our anchoring standpoint maintains that the (sub-)categorization of reality is prevalently a culture-specific phenomenon. It gets reflected in the lexico-grammatical encoding of individual languages (cf. Dirven 1989; Wierzbicka 1992, etc), making it, therefore, ‘the interpretative lens for socio-cultural knowledge, values and beliefs’ (Bargiella-Chippini, 2006: 3). Consequently, our starting-point premise is that the discourse of daily interaction constitutes an important part of verbal behaviour through which values, norms, and practices of a society are expressed and communicated, the cultural idiosyncrasy of which can be identified both inter- and intra-linguistically.

While analysing forms of address used in daily interaction, we take into account characteristics of social and interpersonal relations, cultural values, politeness strategies and the (sub-)categorization of reality. Our main hypothesis is that representatives of different cultures, when choosing address forms in their daily interaction, demonstrate specific tendencies reflecting their native culture, one end of the continuum being a culture with a lower level of Social Distance (SD) and a higher level of Power Distance (PD), the opposite end of the spectrum being represented by speakers whose native culture is characterized by a considerably higher level of SD (‘horizontal’ scale) and a rather low level of PD (‘vertical’ scale).


Bargiela-Chiapini, Francesca (2006). Interculturality, ‘culture-in-use’, and Intercultural Business Discourse. Series A: General and Theoretical Papers. Essen: LAUD 2006. Paper 657.

Dirven, Rene (1989). Cognitive Linguistics and Pedagogic Grammar. In: Graustein, Gottfried and Gerhard Leitner (eds.). Reference Grammars and Modern Linguistic Theory.Tübingen: Nienmeyer; 56 – 75.

Larina, Tatiana and Neelakshi Suryanarayan (2012). Madam or aunty ji: address forms in British and Indian English as a reflection of culture and cognition. In Reif, Monika et al. (eds). Variation in language and language use: linguistic, socio-cultural and cognitive perspectives. Frankfurt: Peter Lang; 190-217.

Wierzbicka, Anna (1992). Semantics, culture, and cognition. New York: Oxford University press.
Linguistic Subfield: Anthropological Linguistics; Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 23.4173

This is a session of the following meeting:
13th International Pragmatics Conference

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