The Negotiation of Politeness in Business Meetings: A Study of Argentine Speakers of English
Although much has been written on the “the discursive struggle over (im)politeness” (Watts 2003: 9) by non-native lingua franca speakers and their native counterparts, there is still, to my knowledge, relatively little work done on the characterisation of the English spoken by Argentine business interactants. In view of this, the aim of this study is to contribute to the field of politeness research by exploring the negotiation of (im)politeness carried out by Argentine speakers of English in the discourse of disagreement in simulated business meetings. For this purpose, a corpus consisting of 20 videotaped dyadic business simulations was collected. The participants were all businesspeople with decision-making positions in international companies and with an excellent level of proficiency in English. The data was analysed from a sociopragmatic perspective combining Watts’ discursive model of Relational Work with the notions of Graduation and Engagement from Appraisal Theory (Martin and White 2005). The results obtained contribute to categorising the degree of politeness and the discursive strategies used in the discourse of disagreement in the different phases of the simulaled business negotiations.