Tact or frankness in English and Russian blind peer reviews

In a context of increasing globalization of academic discourse, considerations of the impact of culture on different communicative genres and discursive practices become more relevant than ever, as the construction of pragmatic meaning and its appropriate interpretation by the recipient is seen to depend on lexico-grammatical features whose use is greatly affected by cultural factors. This paper concerns the genre of blind peer review, and examines how disagreement and negative evaluation are expressed in two cultural and linguistic settings, and to what extent they are mitigated. It is based on peer reviews submitted, in English and Russian, to the Russian Journal of Linguistics, in which the reviewer provides a negative evaluation (either "reject"or "to be resubmitted after substantial revisions"). Such reviews entail possible face damage, in the terms of (Brown and Levinson 1978); and therefore one might expect reviewers to engage in discursive strategies of mitigation. The paper analyses 120 authentic blind reviews (70 Russian and 50 British English), using a pragmatic, contextual and contrastive methodology. Drawing on discourse analysis, intercultural pragmatics, (im)politeness theory and cultural studies, we explore the construction of alternative meanings in reviewers' messages, and theorise that consideration for the face requirements of the reviewee and politeness strategies, may account not only for individual but also culture-specific choices. The results show that, as well as variations in reviewers' individual styles, there are some culture-specific traits in this area. Mitigation strategies are more typical of English communication than Russian. We account for these differences in terms of the sociocultural context, value differences and the use of different mechanisms of politeness. Our results suggest that politeness is based on different communicative styles and expressive traditions, which appear to vary across cultures. © 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.

Авторы
Larina T. 1 , Ponton D.M.2
Издательство
De Gruyter Mouton
Номер выпуска
4
Язык
Английский
Страницы
471-496
Статус
Опубликовано
Том
17
Год
2020
Организации
  • 1 Rudn University, Moscow, Russian Federation
  • 2 University of Catania, Catania, Italy
Ключевые слова
(im)politeness; blind peer review genre; communicative style; English; evaluation; Russian
Дата создания
20.04.2021
Дата изменения
20.04.2021
Постоянная ссылка
https://repository.rudn.ru/ru/records/article/record/72637/
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