A Conversation Analysis of Sales Talk in Chinese

Wu Xia Wang Chang, School of Foreign Languages, Northeast Normal University, China, ID CLEaR2017-422;     Abstract: People interact with one another in daily life. When people talk, they may be aware of the conversational style in everyday communication, and then they may realize that even a simple greeting formula manifests a specific pattern. So is sales talk. Thus, some researchers become increasingly interested in searching for and providing sufficient information on actual patterns of sales talk in daily transactions.

Currently, many studies on sales talk have been conducted, while only few statistics, based on empirical investigations, have been applied to analyze sales talk in Chinese. Therefore, this paper aims to conduct a study on sales talk in Chinese to analyze the sequential structure of sales talk in Chinese, the linguistic strategies employed in the realization process of negotiation and the social variables affecting the choice of negotiation strategies.

Under the guidance of Conversation Analysis and Speech Act Theory, many speech events are observed, described and analyzed here, through which the results are summarized as follows: there is a sequential pattern that we tend to observe when we are in the process of sales transactions in Chinese; meanwhile, some linguistics strategies are required in the realization process of negotiation; and some social variables play a significant role in people’s choice of negotiation strategies.

Despite certain limitations in this paper, we hope that this study will help, to some extent, provide some information on sales talk in Chinese and facilitate interactions not only in this practical area but also in other areas and aspects of our lives.

Key words: Sales Talk; Conversation Analysis; Sequential Structure; Linguistic Strategies; Social Variables