An Analysis of Lexical Features of English Business Correspondence

Abstract: English business correspondence plays an important role in foreign trade. In English business correspondence, the lexicon is a key aspect which can influence the effect of communication; This thesis is a study on lexical features of English business correspondence.The purposes of this study are (1) to find out the specific lexical features of English business correspondence exchanged in foreign trade, which is different from both face-to-face interactions and everyday letters, (2) to see why English business correspondence possesses such features, and (3) to propose some implications for the Business English learners and the business practitioners to enhance their mastery of appropriate use of lexicon in English business correspondence.After the author analyzes the authentic data collected from foreign trade companies, it is apparent that there exist some specific lexical features of English business correspondence, such as: (1) preference of concrete words to abstract words; (2) choice of precise wording; (3) choice of concise wording; (4) high frequency of positive and polite words; (5) use of simple words instead of difficult words; (6) use of correct and accurate words.This research seeks to explain from the perspectives of both the writing principles (i.e. principles of practical business writing) and pragmatic theories (i.e. Grice's Cooperative Principle, Leech's Politeness Principle and Zipf's Economy Principle). By means of applying such principles and theories, this thesis tries to analyze the underlying reasons for the lexical features of English business correspondence.The discussions of this study are expected to shed some light on the teaching and study of English business correspondence and the practical business correspondence writing by the professionals in the field of foreign trade…
Key words: English business correspondence; Lexical features; English Business correspondence writing principles; Pragmatic theories

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