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Abstract

This research studies a group of Chinese university students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) to analyse the macro- and microstructure of their emails and their pragmatic competence. In order to study the features and context adequacy of their email communication, a corpus of 200 emails written by 100 second-year students (sophomores) and 100 fourth-year students (seniors) was analysed to identify the uses and preferences concerning subject lines and opening and closing moves and to investigate the uses and functions of strategies related to disagreement in their communication to a faculty member. Findings show that both Chinese groups lacked standardisation in relation to the use of subject line and opening and closing moves. Data also proved that Chinese EFL emails were inappropriate due to insufficient mitigation, lack of acknowledgment of the imposition involved and lack of status-congruent language.

Open Access
In: International Review of Pragmatics

Abstract

In light of the mandate of social distancing imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the subsequent disruption in habitual practices involving physical contact, the essay explores the ancient gesture of the handshake with reference to both its cultural codifications and its iconography, widespread especially in Mediterranean and Near Eastern areas. While involving manifold semantic and symbolic significance, the handshake is taken into account especially as a gesture implying a tactile exposure to another, hinting at the possibility of joining radically discontinuous worlds (mortals and immortals, dead and living). Ancient Greek funerary art is considered and a few final remarks return to the experience of isolation we lived on a global scale in recent years.

Full Access
In: Research in Phenomenology
Author: Marjolein Oele

Abstract

This paper examines the figure of silence in the works of Michel Serres and Simone Weil. It argues that, in the spirit of Serres and Weil, our time of crisis calls not for a short-term response, but for long-term engagement in a dialectics of silence: the dialogical movement between the silencing of institutions and the attentive silence of visionary insights. Such dialectics can revalidate the value of institutional silencing if based on solid rational proof (rebutting so-called visionary ideas that are baseless) while simultaneously showing the value of visionary ideas that rightfully combat problematic institutional silencing. Especially in this current moment, in which science and scientific propositions are relentlessly questioned, there is a need to lean into silence so as to promote a productive dialogue that regains trust in proven scientific ideas and institutions while allowing visionary insights their place as well, provided that we are willing to test them.

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In: Research in Phenomenology
In: Research in Phenomenology

Abstract

This paper proposes to reflect self-critically on an ongoing research project entitled “Grammars of listening,” which started as a philosophical appr