The important role of person pro-forms in establishing interpersonal relations has long been recognized. During interaction, person pro-forms act as indexicals whose referents are determined by the context in which they are used. This study focuses on the pragmatic functions of first and second person pro-forms in earnings calls, now the primary channel for oral financial reporting in the corporate world. Earnings calls consist of presentations by company executives followed by question-and-answer sessions with financial analysts who participate via teleconferencing. A contrastive case study based on the earnings call of an Italian company and a US company was undertaken to provide insights into how person pro-forms are used in ICT-mediated financial discourse when English is used as a common language. Text analysis software was used to descriptively analyze person pro-forms. In addition, the two datasets were manually examined to identify pragmatic functions that could shed light on interpersonal relations and participant roles. Overall, person pro-form usage was closely aligned with the distinct objectives of the participants as either ‘information seekers’ or ‘information providers’. However, some interesting differences suggest that the Italian executives had a more interpersonal approach to the interaction compared to the American executives. This could be influenced by the importance of relationships in the Italian culture, but could also reflect strategic choices to achieve professional goals. The findings can be used to help both corporate professionals and students of management and finance acquire a better understanding of the pragmatics of person pro-forms, and thus become more effective communicators in intercultural contexts.

Pragmatic uses of person pro-forms in intercultural financial discourse: a contrastive case study of earnings calls

CRAWFORD, BELINDA BLANCHE
2014

Abstract

The important role of person pro-forms in establishing interpersonal relations has long been recognized. During interaction, person pro-forms act as indexicals whose referents are determined by the context in which they are used. This study focuses on the pragmatic functions of first and second person pro-forms in earnings calls, now the primary channel for oral financial reporting in the corporate world. Earnings calls consist of presentations by company executives followed by question-and-answer sessions with financial analysts who participate via teleconferencing. A contrastive case study based on the earnings call of an Italian company and a US company was undertaken to provide insights into how person pro-forms are used in ICT-mediated financial discourse when English is used as a common language. Text analysis software was used to descriptively analyze person pro-forms. In addition, the two datasets were manually examined to identify pragmatic functions that could shed light on interpersonal relations and participant roles. Overall, person pro-form usage was closely aligned with the distinct objectives of the participants as either ‘information seekers’ or ‘information providers’. However, some interesting differences suggest that the Italian executives had a more interpersonal approach to the interaction compared to the American executives. This could be influenced by the importance of relationships in the Italian culture, but could also reflect strategic choices to achieve professional goals. The findings can be used to help both corporate professionals and students of management and finance acquire a better understanding of the pragmatics of person pro-forms, and thus become more effective communicators in intercultural contexts.
Crawford, BELINDA BLANCHE
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/395267
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