Tianguis Friki: Intracultural Pragmatic Variation of E-service Encounters in a Northern Mexican Community

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Laura Margarita Merino-Hernández


Electronic service encounters, defined as an economic exchange over the Internet (McCole, 2002), have recently gained attention with the expansion of the Internet. E-service encounters, similar to face-to-face service encounters (Antonopoulou, 2001; Félix-Brasdefer, 2015; Merritt,1976) consist of (non)formal institutional talk that involves specific tasks, identities, and relevant procedures that partakers must consider when participating in the interaction (Lind & Salomonson, 2012). This study examines e-service encounters in Spanish that occur in the virtual Facebook group Tianguis Friki (literally freaky flea market), where people sell and exchange goods and services (e.g. electronics, clothes, and cars). A total of 100 interactions of e-service encounters were analyzed using two of Schneider and Barron’s (2008) levels of pragmatic analysis: actional and interactional. It was observed that participants in e-service encounters are very task-oriented, evidenced by the use of only three opening act strategies (elliptical, explicit, and imperative offers), the lack of a pre/post-sequence (e.g. greetings), and the lack of relational talk. Moreover, it was found that some strategies from offline communication (e.g. task oriented strategies) are transferred to online communication, whereas other strategies (e.g. use of relational talk) are not.


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