This innovative study of naturally-occurring English conversations between Hong Kong Chinese and their native English friends and colleagues makes a worthwhile contribution to the research literature on intercultural conversation. Through analyzing dyadic intercultural conversations, the study investigates the ways in which culturally divergent conversationalists manage their organizational and interpersonal aspects of the unfolding conversations. The study focuses on five features of conversational interaction - disagreements, compliments and compliment responses, simultaneous talk, discourse topic management and discourse information structure - where cultural values and attitudes are particularly evident. For each of the features, hypotheses are formulated and tested through the detailed analysis of twenty-five intercultural conversations. This quantitative analysis is then followed by qualitative analysis of excerpts from the conversations to show the ways in which conversational interaction is performed and negotiated. The study shows in very revealing ways that intercultural conversations involve a complex, interactive and collaborative process of communication between the participants.
1. List of figures and tables; 2. Acknowledgements; 3. Transcription notation; 4. 1. Communication across cultures; 5. 2. Literature review and descriptive framework; 6. 3. Research methodology and data collection; 7. 4. Preference organization; 8. 5. Compliments and compliment responses; 9. 6. Simultaneous talk; 10. 7. Discourse topic management; 11. 8. Discourse information structure; 12. 9. Conclusion; 13. References; 14. Authors index; 15. Subject index