What are the key factors that may cause misunderstanding in intercultural communication?

What can cause these clashes of different styles of communication?
  • high involvement style vs. low involvement style
  • informal vs. formal
  • intimate vs. personal or social
  • high volume vs. low volume
  • many swear words vs. few swear words
  • different ideas about the relationship between speaker and hearer
At which levels do the verbal and non-verbal signs (contextualisation cues) operate?
  • prosody: intonation, stress, accenting, pitch, register shifts
  • paralinguistic signs: tempo, pausing, hesitation, tone of voice, turn-taking
  • code choice: code switching (alternating languages), style switching or selection among phonetic, phonological or morphosyntactic options
  • choice of lexical forms or formulaic expressions: similar to code choice, the choice of lexical forms or formulaic expressions such as opening or closing routines or metaphoric expressions is meaningful
How can contextualisation cues enter into the inferential process?
  1. Conversation participants need to receive and categorise communicative signals
  2. They need to make inference on communicative intent
  3. They need to frame and signal what is expected in the interaction at any one stage
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