The distinction has been made between two different aspects of language use in the speech event of service encounters; one aspect of language is mainly for business transactions (e.g., talking about the availability and prices of goods) and the other is for managing interpersonal relationships (e.g., interchanging small talk, using polite address terms, etc.). The present study examines the cases where these two language functions merge within a single utterance in terms of how transactional language function is realized in interactional frames. The data analysis for this study is based on the widely-known politeness theory of Brown and Levinson (1987). The language phenomenon that a single utterance may perform different functions and people use politeness strategies for rapport and solidarity are by no means new. The present paper is not an attempt simply to enumerate common language phenomenon. Rather it aims to show how such phenomenon is constituted in interactions in-situ and actively employed by the interactants as effective discourse strategies. The present paper is based on the data analysis of talk between Korean immigrant shopkeepers and African American customers in service encounters in a Korean-owned store in the United States. The data comprises audio- and video tape recorded actual interactions at the sites. The detailed analysis of talk in this study revealed dynamic and intricate nature of talk displayed in a merge of the two language functions, interactional and transactional. The present paper focuses on how the participants tactfully concentrated on the business or transactional matters at hand and simultaneously achieved their interactional goals of rapport and solidarity building.
2. Politeness Theory
3. Transactional and Interactional Functions of Talk in Service Encounters
4. The data
5. Data analysis