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A cross-linguistic study of metacommunication in online hotel reviews

(2020) INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS. 17(4). p.445-470
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Abstract
In this study, we focus on a specific form of metacommunication found in an emerging digital genre: Hotel reviews posted on TripAdvisor. In particular, we investigate how tourists represent their service encounter interactions. The main goal of the present study is to identify what these digital metacommunicative practices reveal about communicative norms and expectations among groups of reviewers writing in three different languages. We analyzed a multilingual dataset of 1800 reviews written in English, Dutch, and Italian. The results reveal that reviewers commented upon a broad range of aspects when evaluating service encounters interactions, for instance, describing the quality of the interaction (e.g. polite, correct), or a lack of communication when a specific type of communication is expected (e.g. absence of greetings, or apologies after a service failure). Further, we found similar cross-linguistic patterns, such as appreciation for being able to communicate in one’s mother tongue during the hotel-guest encounter. At the same time, a few differences across languages emerged, such as the preference for precise and correct information within British reviews. Since service interactions are of fundamental importance for customer satisfaction, our findings contribute not only to the current research on metacommunication in digital contexts, but may also be significant for service providers in the hospitality industry.
Keywords
metacommunication, cross-linguistic analysis, TripAdvisor, online hotel reviews, service interactions, CONSUMER REVIEWS, LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION, RESPONSES, METADISCOURSE, CUSTOMERS, TOURISM, TALK, US

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MLA
Cenni, Irene, et al. “A Cross-Linguistic Study of Metacommunication in Online Hotel Reviews.” INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS, vol. 17, no. 4, 2020, pp. 445–70, doi:10.1515/ip-2020-4003.
APA
Cenni, I., Goethals, P., & Vásquez, C. (2020). A cross-linguistic study of metacommunication in online hotel reviews. INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS, 17(4), 445–470. https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2020-4003
Chicago author-date
Cenni, Irene, Patrick Goethals, and Camilla Vásquez. 2020. “A Cross-Linguistic Study of Metacommunication in Online Hotel Reviews.” INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS 17 (4): 445–70. https://doi.org/10.1515/ip-2020-4003.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Cenni, Irene, Patrick Goethals, and Camilla Vásquez. 2020. “A Cross-Linguistic Study of Metacommunication in Online Hotel Reviews.” INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS 17 (4): 445–470. doi:10.1515/ip-2020-4003.
Vancouver
1.
Cenni I, Goethals P, Vásquez C. A cross-linguistic study of metacommunication in online hotel reviews. INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS. 2020;17(4):445–70.
IEEE
[1]
I. Cenni, P. Goethals, and C. Vásquez, “A cross-linguistic study of metacommunication in online hotel reviews,” INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 445–470, 2020.
@article{8663809,
  abstract     = {{In this study, we focus on a specific form of metacommunication found in an emerging digital genre: Hotel reviews posted on TripAdvisor. In particular, we investigate how tourists represent their service encounter interactions. The main goal of the present study is to identify what these digital metacommunicative practices reveal about communicative norms and expectations among groups of reviewers writing in three different languages. We analyzed a multilingual dataset of 1800 reviews written in English, Dutch, and Italian. The results reveal that reviewers commented upon a broad range of aspects when evaluating service encounters interactions, for instance, describing the quality of the interaction (e.g. polite, correct), or a lack of communication when a specific type of communication is expected (e.g. absence of greetings, or apologies after a service failure). Further, we found similar cross-linguistic patterns, such as appreciation for being able to communicate in one’s mother tongue during the hotel-guest encounter. At the same time, a few differences across languages emerged, such as the preference for precise and correct information within British reviews. Since service interactions are of fundamental importance for customer satisfaction, our findings contribute not only to the current research on metacommunication in digital contexts, but may also be significant for service providers in the hospitality industry.}},
  author       = {{Cenni, Irene and Goethals, Patrick and Vásquez, Camilla}},
  issn         = {{1612-295X}},
  journal      = {{INTERCULTURAL PRAGMATICS}},
  keywords     = {{metacommunication,cross-linguistic analysis,TripAdvisor,online hotel reviews,service interactions,CONSUMER REVIEWS,LANGUAGE,COMMUNICATION,RESPONSES,METADISCOURSE,CUSTOMERS,TOURISM,TALK,US}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{445--470}},
  title        = {{A cross-linguistic study of metacommunication in online hotel reviews}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/ip-2020-4003}},
  volume       = {{17}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}

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