Intercultural aspects of the speech act of promising: Western and African practices

Title
Intercultural aspects of the speech act of promising: Western and African practices
Author
Inge Egner
Mots-clés
Article
Communication Failure (13628)
Cross Cultural Communication (16300)
Cross-Cultural Communication and Behavior
Cultural Differences (16400)
Interpersonal Behavior and Communication
Language Culture Relationship (42150)
Niger Congo Languages (57900)
Speech Acts (82400)
Sub Saharan Africa (85200)
Résumé
This paper examines the reasons for a frequent intercultural misunderstanding between Africans and Westerners with regard to promising. After studying the conditions of use for the act of promising in each culture, I look at the cultural premises underlying these conditions of use for the act of promising in each culture. I argue that the notions of sincerity and commitment so closely attached to the Western promise stem in fact from the deeper level of Western cultural premises and that the African promise is typically informed by different cultural premises, even though commitment can be attached to an African promise through a verbal negotiation.
Année de parution
2006
Journal
Intercultural Pragmatics
Volume
3
Issue
4
Number of Pages
443-464,
ISBN Number
1612-295X