Browsing by Subject "languages"

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  • Holmqvist, Jonas (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, 2009)
    Economics and Society
    A defining characteristic of most service encounters is that they are strongly influenced by interactions in which both the consumer and the service personnel are playing integral roles. Such is the importance of this interaction that it has even been argued that for the consumer, these encounters are in fact the service. Given this, it is not surprising that interactions involving communication and customer participation in the service encounters have received considerable attention within the field of services marketing. Much of the research on interactions and communication in services, however, appear to have assumed that the consumer and the service personnel by definition are perfectly able to interact and communicate effortlessly with each other. Such communication would require a common language, and in order to be able to take this for granted the market would need to be fairly homogenous. The homogenous country, however, and with it the homogenous market, would appear to be gone. It is estimated that more than half the consumers in the world are already speaking more than one language. For a company entering a new market, language can be a major barrier that firms may underestimate, and understanding language influence across different markets is important for international companies. The service literature has taken a common language between companies and consumers for granted but this is not matched by the realities on the ground in many markets. Owing to the communicational and interaction-oriented nature of services, the lack of a common language between the consumer and the service provider is a situation that could cause problems. A gap exists in the service theory, consisting of a lack of knowledge concerning how language influences consumers in service encounters. By addressing this gap, the thesis contributes to an increased understanding of service theory and provides a better practical understanding for service companies of the importance of native language use for consumers. The thesis consists of four essays. Essay one is conceptual and addresses how sociolinguistic research can be beneficial for understanding consumer language preferences. Essay two empirically shows how the influence of language varies depending on the nature of the service, essay three shows that there is a significant difference in language preferences between female and male consumers while essay four empirically compares consumer language preferences in Canada and Finland, finding strong similarities but also indications of difference in the motives for preferring native language use. The introduction of the thesis outlines the existence of a research gap within the service literature, a gap consisting of the lack of research into how native language use may influence consumers in service encounters. In addition, it is described why this gap is of importance to services and why its importance is growing. Building on this situation, the purpose of the thesis is to establish the existence of language influence in service encounters and to extend the knowledge of how language influences consumers on multilingual markets.
  • Routarinne, Sara; Tainio, Liisa (2018)
    We focus on invitations extended during Finnish telephone calls to demonstrate how language and sociocultural practices affect the ways in which Finnish speakers extend invitations. This analysis is based on 42 invitation sequences containing 42 first invitations; these were drawn from a large corpus of naturally occurring telephone calls among friends and family. Invitations were identified in terms of their linguistic design, sequential position, and recipient responses in the framework of conversation analysis. We categorized first invitations into three different types. New invitations and reissued invitations that are often delivered as the reason for the call generate an interaction; interactionally generated invitations emerge from an ongoing interaction and are not presented as the reason for the call. As to the linguistic formation of invitations, we discovered that the declarative format is used most frequently; however, invitations are also delivered in the interrogative and imperative formats. In addition, the morphosyntactic formats are related to the type of invitation: the declarative format is typically used in new invitations; the interrogative format, in reissued invitations; and interactionally generated invitations favor the interrogative and declarative formats. While some languages may use a verb of volition in invitations, Finnish speakers use the conditional mood. Furthermore, these invitations are constructed so that the inviter may be the agent and the invitee is not overtly obliged. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Sainz, Milagros; Upadyaya, Katja; Salmela-Aro, Katariina (2021)
    The present two studies with a 3-year longitudinal design examined the co-development of science, math, and language (e.g., Spanish/Finnish) interest among 1,317 Spanish and 804 Finnish secondary school students across their transition to post-compulsory secondary education, taking into account the role of gender, performance, and socioeconomic status (SES). The research questions were analyzed with parallel process latent growth curve (LGC) modeling. The results showed that Spanish students' interest in each domain slightly decreased over time, whereas Finnish students experienced an overall high and relatively stable level of interest in all domains. Further, boys showed greater interest in math and science in both countries, whereas girls reported having a greater interest in languages. Moreover, Spanish and Finnish students with high academic achievement typically experienced high interest in different domains, however, some declines in their interest occurred later on.