Constructing common ground for cross-cultural communication

Xiaosui Xiao

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


It is a long-cherished wish of many people to establish common ground for cross-cultural communication. Various conceptualizations of how to achieve this have been developed through the centuries. That which is most encouraging and inspiring is not, however, based on the notion of a gift from God or the foundation of humanity, or a universal structure of human experience, but rather is conceived as the terms, agreements, and consensus reached by two cultural parties to facilitate communication and mutual understanding. This essay takes the archetypal metaphor as the point of departure to discuss the possibility of building such common ground. It is argued that cross-cultural communication is an interactive, two-way metaphorical process. The founding of a basis of understanding between two cultures depends on whether their conceptual systems are able to reconcile the divergences in their metaphorical structures by way of mutual projection and accommodation, and on whether they are willing to agree to such reconciliation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalChina Media Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


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