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LINGUIST List 23.2982

Mon Jul 09 2012

Diss: Pragmatics/Arabic/English: Al-Zubaidi: 'Cross-Cultural Pragmatics...'

Editor for this issue: Lili Xia <lxialinguistlist.org>

Date: 09-Jul-2012
From: Nassier Al-Zubaidi <naghubin1975yahoo.com>
Subject: Cross-Cultural Pragmatics of the Expressions of Gratitude in the Performance of Native Speakers of American English, Iraqi Arabic, and Iraqi EFL Learners
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Institution: University of Baghdad
Program: PHD Program (Linguistics)
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2011

Author: Nassier Abbas Ghubin Al-Zubaidi

Dissertation Title: Cross-Cultural Pragmatics of the Expressions of Gratitude in the Performance of Native Speakers of American English, Iraqi Arabic, and Iraqi EFL Learners

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics

Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard (arb)
                            English (eng)

Dissertation Director:
Dr. Abdullatif Alwan Al-Jumaily

Dissertation Abstract:

Expressing gratitude is one of the most frequently occurring
communicative acts in most human languages/cultures. It is a pragmatic
function that is crucial in establishing and maintaining social bonds.
The present study investigates Iraqi EFL learners' realization and
perception of the speech act of expressing gratitude compared to the
performance of native speakers of American English and Iraqi Arabic.
The objectives of the present study are: (1) to investigate the
production and perception of the speech act of expressing gratitude by
native speakers of American English, Iraqi Arabic, and Iraqi EFL
learners; (2) to investigate whether these three groups employ similar
or different patterns in realizing and perceiving the speech act under
investigation, and whether Iraqi EFL learners are closer to Iraqi Arabic
or American English speech norms; (3) to investigate the influence of
L1 pragmatic transfer on Iraqi EFL learners' performance; (4) to
investigate the influence of contextual variables of social status, social
distance and imposition on the three groups' pragmatic performance;
and (5) to investigate the influence of cultural values and assumptions
on the three groups' pragmatic performance. The data were collected
through a discourse completion task (DCT) and a scaled-response task
(SRT) which were utilized to elicit pragmalinguistic knowledge and
sociopragmatic knowledge respectively from 150 participants divided
into three groups: (1) 50 native speakers of American English; (2) 50
native speakers of Iraqi Arabic; and (3) 50 Iraqi EFL learners. The
results show that: (1) on the perception level, the three groups followed
different patterns in assessing the four perceptional questions of the
degree of gratefulness, the degree of imposition, the likelihood of
expected gratitude giving, and the likelihood of expected gratitude
responding; (2) on the production level, the three groups generated
relatively similar strategy types with some exceptions and different
amount of strategy use. As far as length of speech is concerned, Iraqi
EFL learners generated a different number of strategies of thanks
giving and responding compared to that of native speakers of American
English and of Iraqi Arabic; (3) contextual variables influenced the
groups' production and perception of the speech behavior under
investigations. Overall, Iraqi Arabic and Iraqi EFL groups were more
sensitive to social status while American English group was more
sensitive to social distance. As to the degree of imposition, it
consistently affected the three groups' performance; (4) Iraqi EFL
learners demonstrated a relatively developmental pattern
approximating the use of American English norms of speech, though
they continued to be significantly influenced by their L1; (5) both
negative pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic transfers were found in
Iraqi EFL learners' production and perception of the speech act under
investigation; and (6) cultural values and assumptions of both native
cultural groups influenced the production and perception of the speech
act under investigation. Based on the findings, the study concludes
with some pedagogical implications that could be implemented in the
EFL context, and presents some suggestions for future research.




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