Journal of Intercultural Communication, issue 3, 2000

Zhu Yunxia

Business Writing in Mainland China:
A Look at the Development of Sales Genres

Abstract

This paper sets out to examine the development of Chinese sales genres in relation to the changing social context. An approach embracing both social context and communicative purposes (Swales, 1990) is proposed and used in this paper. Fundamental changes have taken place in Chinese business context since the economic opening-up in 1978. In response to these changes, sales letters have emerged to meet the communicative needs of business. An introduction is given to sales genres in two different periods of business communication: the delinking period (1949-78) and the relinking period (1978 to the present). In the first period, sales ‘qingshi’ (requests raised by subordinates), and sales ‘pifu’ (official approvals) were employed. The second period is characterized by the use of the sales letters to reflect the change towards the market economy. In addition, the use of the specific sales genres is largely determined by reader-writer relationships under different economic structures of the country. While an equal relationship is shown in sales letters in the second period, a hierarchical relationship is exhibited in the sales genres used in the first period.

The article explores how language can been used as a resource of cultural value and creative power in Australian English. The paper reveals how Australian politicians use political language rhetoric as a powerful tool in gaining political advantages. Several segments of so-called "public discourse" have been analysed, but the author mainly focuses on two areas of speech: how politicians use their language skills in gaining public support, and how they shirk responsibility. Special discoursal features of these speeches have been compiled and categorised. The speeches are studied from the various angles of discourse analysis and political rhetoric techniques.


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