Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number2 June 2021 Pp. 521- 539
Pragma-linguistic and Socio-pragmatic Transfer among Iraqi Female EFL Learners in
Refusing Marriage Proposals
Tabarek Ali Qassim
Department of English, College of Education for Women
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Corresponding Author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nawal Fadhel Abbas
Department of English, College of Education for Women
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Fatima Falih Ahmed
English Department, Midlands Technical College
School of English and the Humanities, West Columbia, South Carolina, USA
MATC- Milwaukee Area Technical College
Lead and Stem Pathway advisor, USA
Received: 5/4/2021 Accepted: 6/24/2021 Published: 6/28/2021
In the framework of this study, the phenomenon of transfer is probed pragma-linguistically and socio-linguistically concerning marriage situations among Iraqi EFL learners. The study also strives to look at the refusal strategies most commonly employed by Iraqi female English as a foreign Language (EFL) learners compared to their counterparts, American native speakers of English. The study involved 70 female participants who answered a Discourse Completion Task (DCT), which contained ten marriage proposals to be refused. Each situation entailed refusal of a person from a higher, an equal, and lower status. The researchers adapted Beebe, Takahashi, and Uliss Weltz’s (1990) taxonomy of refusal for analyzing the data comprehensively. The study’s findings indicated that Iraqi female EFL learners followed similar patterns of refusing marriage situations to American speakers. The most prevalent strategies used by the two groups were “reasons/ excuses and explanations,” followed by “statements of regrets,” and then “non-performative statements” with slight variation in frequency. However, the Iraqi learners’ native language and culture affected how they formulated their refusal; hence they manifested pragma-linguistic and socio-pragmatic transfer in particular areas. The areas of pragma-linguistic transfer included the literal translation of words, expressions, and structures into their refusal in English. As for the socio-pragmatic areas, the transfer occurred in certain Arabic culture features like elaboration, exaggeration, repetition, endearing terms, and many others in expressing the target language, English.
Keywords: Beebe et al.’s taxonomy, Iraqi EFL learners, marriage proposals, pragma-linguistic transfer, refusal, socio-pragmatic transfer
Cite as: Qassim, T. A., Abbas, N. F., Ahmed, F. F., & Hameed, S. (2021). Pragma-linguistic and Socio-pragmatic Transfer among Iraqi
Female EFL Learners in Refusing Marriage Proposals. Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 521- 539.
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