Due to the importance of politeness in intercultural communication, the subject ofpoliteness has received a lot of scholarly attention. Despite a vast volume of studieson this subject, few studies have investigated the nexus between politeness and culturalbackground in the context of comparing expressions of politeness made bynative speakers with those made by second language learners. To fill this gap in theliterature, I analyze how cultural differences affect native speakers’ and second languagelearners’ choice of request strategy in the context of politeness. By employing asurvey method, using two subject groups—English native speakers and Korean ESLlearners—I compare politeness behavior in request speech acts between Korean andAmerican subjects. The results of this analysis reveal that cultural differences domatter, and expressing politeness in a second language also affects one’s politenessexpressions.
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