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Invitation refusal and politeness strategies among Iraqi Arabic speakers

Nassar, Arkan Abdul Hasan (2021) Invitation refusal and politeness strategies among Iraqi Arabic speakers. Doctoral thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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Studies have shown that an invitation refusal is a sensitive, cultural-specific and socially dispreferred speech act. Coming from different cultures and speaking different languages as mother tongues, Iraqi Arabs and Iraqi Kurds have different styles of realizing refusal
speech act which in tum will lead to miscommunication. While previous studies focused on multiple speech acts as initiation acts of refusal and had limited scope of social status and distance, this study focuses on refusal invitation speech act only but covering a wider scope of interlocutors' social status (lower, equal and high status) and social distance (close, familiar and distant). Hence, the present study investigates the invitation refusal and politeness strategies of the two groups when refusing in an Iraqi Arabic dialect and delineates the socio-cultural norms that underlie the employment of these strategies. Data were obtained from 50 Iraqi Arabs and 50 Iraqi Kurds through an open-ended Written Discourse Completion Task and a Focus Group Interview. Data from the task were analysed according to Beebe at al. 's (1990) classification of semantic formulas and Brown and Levinson's (1987) theory of politeness while data from the interview were analysed to identify the social and cultural norms that affected their invitation refusal. The findings revealed that both groups preferred indirectness with excuse and regret/apology being the preferred strategies, In terms of directness, Iraqi Kurds' use of directness was more conspicuous as they employed more negative willingness apart from using performative and Hat "no". The two groups also differed in their employment of direct, indirect, and adjuncts strategies as their
pre-refusal, head act, or post-refusal in relation to the three levels of social status and social distance. The two groups' politeness strategies showed that positive politeness was more prevalent followed by negative politeness and they also shared similar social and cultural norms which influenced their refusal. The findings can
be utilised to raise awareness among the two groups in regard to the differences and similarities in realisations of the speech act of invitation refusal. The findings will also help in reducing misunderstanding or any possible pragmatic failure between Iraqi Arabs and Iraqi Kurds, and thus may assist in enhancing solidarity.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Supervisor : Saad, Norma and Mohd Nordin, Nur Rasyidah
Item ID: 9502
Uncontrolled Keywords: Invitation refusal, Politeness strategies, Social status and distance, Social cultural norms, Iraqi Arabic dialect
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Awang Had Salleh Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 08:28
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2022 08:28
Department: Awang Had Salleh Graduate School of Arts & Sciences
Name: Saad, Norma and Mohd Nordin, Nur Rasyidah
URI: https://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/9502

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