Speech Acts across Cultures: A Comparative Study of Chinese and Pakistani Students’ Request and Politeness Strategies

  • Amina Shahzadi Lecturer, University of Education, Lahore, Multan Campus, Pakistan
  • Abdul Ghaffar Bhatti Assistant Professor, University of Education, Lahore, Multan Campus, Pakistan
  • Munir Khan Assistant Professor, Faculty of Languages and Literature, Lasbela University of agriculture, water, and Marine Sciences, Uthal Balochistan, Pakistan
Keywords: Cross-Cultural Communication, Politeness, Pragmatics, Request, Speech Acts


The examines are the different request strategies in English used by Pakistani and Chinese students according to social distance and power of interlocutors. Data comprises students from Pakistan and China enrolled in an undergraduate program at International Islamic University Islamabad, Pakistan. Blum-Kulka, House, and Kasper's (1989) taxonomy of request strategies is taken as a theoretical framework to compare the request speech act patterns of Pakistani and Chinese students. This study analyzed the request speech act in terms of head act strategies used by participants. Blum-Kulka et al. (1989) categorized the request speech act into three request strategies i.e. direct, conventionally indirect, and non-conventional indirect strategies. The study identifies similarities between Pakistani ESL learners and Chinese EFL learners in making use of mood derivable as the preferred strategies for making requests in situations of different social distance, power, and familiarity between the interlocutors.