Analyzing the genre structure of chinese call-center communication

Xunfeng Xu, Yan Wang, Gail Forey, Lan Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (SciVal)


This study investigates the genre structure of Chinese call-center discourse based on data collected from the call centers of a telecommunication company in China. Using an integrated theoretical framework informed by approaches to genre from English for specific purposes, systemic functional linguistics, and social perspectives, the study focuses on an analysis of the recurrent situation and social practices, the communicative purposes, the move structure, the exchange structure, and the generic-structure potential of call-center communication. A corpus-based quantitative analysis further reveals the dynamic complexity of interaction at call centers. The study compares Chinese and English call-center interactions in order to illustrate universal language functions as well as institutional and cultural differences in this professional discourse. The findings may have implications for both academics and practitioners in the call-center industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-475
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Business and Technical Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2010


  • call-center discourse
  • corpus
  • exchange structure
  • generic-structure potential
  • genre analysis
  • move structure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


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