Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login

New from Cambridge University Press!


Voice Quality

By John H. Esling, Scott R. Moisik, Allison Benner, Lise Crevier-Buchman

Voice Quality "The first description of voice quality production in forty years, this book provides a new framework for its study: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Informed by instrumental examinations of the laryngeal articulatory mechanism, it revises our understanding of articulatory postures to explain the actions, vibrations and resonances generated in the epilarynx and pharynx."

New from Oxford University Press!


Let's Talk

By David Crystal

Let's Talk "Explores the factors that motivate so many different kinds of talk and reveals the rules we use unconsciously, even in the most routine exchanges of everyday conversation."

E-mail this page 1

We Have a New Site!

With the help of your donations we have been making good progress on designing and launching our new website! Check it out at!
***We are still in our beta stages for the new site--if you have any feedback, be sure to let us know at***

Dissertation Information

Title: Cross-Cultural Pragmatics of the Expressions of Gratitude in the Performance of Native Speakers of American English, Iraqi Arabic, and Iraqi EFL Learners Add Dissertation
Author: Nassier Al-Zubaidi Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Baghdad, PHD Program (Linguistics)
Completed in: 2011
Linguistic Subfield(s): Pragmatics;
Subject Language(s): Arabic, Standard
Director(s): Abdullatif Al-Jumaily

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 learners̕ 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 learners̕ performance; (4) to investigate the influence of contextual variables of social status, social distance and imposition on the three groups̕ pragmatic performance; and (5) to investigate the influence of cultural values and assumptions on the three groups̕ 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 groups̕ 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 groups̕ 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 learners̕ 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.