Three Texts, One Applicant—Identities Constructed in Taoci Email Communication

  •  Lin Xiao    


This research taps into the identity construction in “Taoci” email, a discursive practice popular among Chinese study-abroad applicants. Following a qualitative approach, we focus on one Chinese student’s emails to the same American professor. English Taoci emails and interviews have been collected as research data. Detailed linguistic analysis has been proceeded with the distinctive linguistic features of pronoun usage, “pronoun+predicate” pattern, evaluative vocabulary, discourse content and speech acts. Three relational identities have been found:  I(maxium) identity, I(to you) identity, and I(and you) identity based on the linguistic features. The interview transcripts are used to scaffold the dynamic discursive building in the emails. It is hoped that this study would contribute to discussion on discourse identity and shed light on intercultural student-faculty email communication in the e-world.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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