Friends or foes? Communicating feelings through language in cross-cultural interactions

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This study examines cross-cultural communication in English between Americans and Brazilians through the lens of intercultural pragmatics. Three groups of speakers participated: native speakers of American English, native speakers of Brazilian Portuguese, and English learners who spoke Brazilian Portuguese as a first language. Using a mixed design including role plays and interviews and both quantitative and qualitative data, the study identified pragmatic transfer among the ESL learners, who also showed evidence of developing awareness of the sociolinguistic norms of the target language and its speakers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-94
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
Issue number208
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • English learners
  • crosscultural sociolinguistic norms
  • intercultural pragmatics
  • pragmatic transfer


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