Arab World English Journal (October 2021) Theses ID 278 Pp. 1- 85
Pragmatic Transfer in Advanced Saudi EFL Learners’ Refusals
Jawaher Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Juraywi
English Language Department
Majmaah University, Saudi Arabia
Author: Jawaher Abdulaziz Hamad Al-Juraywi
Thesis Title: Pragmatic Transfer in Advanced Saudi EFL Learners’ Refusals
Institution: Department of English Language and Literature, College of Languages and Translation, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University
Year of award: 2020
Supervisor: Dr. Ibtesam M. Al-Yahya
ORCid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6757-9796
Keywords: pragmatic transfer, pragmatic competence, speech acts, refusals, discourse completion test, semantic formulas
The present study investigated pragmatic transfer in the refusals of advanced Saudi learners of English as a foreign language (SEFL) in terms of the frequency and content of the emantic formulas, and whether their refusals correspond more to those of Saudi native speakers of Arabic (NSA) or native speakers of English (NSE). A total of 45 female subjects participated in the study and were divided into three groups: advanced SEFL as the target group (n = 15), NSA as a baseline data group (n = 15), and NSE as a baseline data group (n = 15). The study employed a mixed-method data collection approach consisting of a Discourse Completion Test (DCT) and semi-structured interviews. The collected data were analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively using the chi-square test and descriptive statistics. The results of the study revealed that pragmatic transfer was evident in the refusals of the SEFL group in both the frequency and content of semantic formulas. Moreover, the SEFL group’s realization of the speech act of refusal corresponded more to the NSA group than the NSE group. The analysis revealed that the SEFL group’s use of the direct refusal strategies, indirect refusal strategies, and adjuncts to refusals either resembled or approximated the NSA group’s use of the strategies to refuse all of the four stimulus types: requests, invitations, offers, and suggestions. Both the SEFL and NSA groups used the direct refusal strategies in a similar pattern; they used the direct strategies significantly less with interlocutors of a lower and higher social status, and significantly more with interlocutors of an equal social status. Furthermore, the content of the semantic formulas used by the SEFL group corresponded more to the content of the semantic formulas used by the NSA group in terms of the degree of specificity and the choice of the type of specific excuses. The SEFL group significantly approximated the NSA group’s use of both specific and unspecific excuses; they used three categories of specific excuses in a similar frequency: family, health, and personal preferences or needs.
Cite as: Al-Juraywi, J. A. H. (2020). Pragmatic Transfer in Advanced Saudi EFL Learners’ Refusals. Department of English Language and Literature, College of Languages and Translation, Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University , Saudi Arabia (M.A.Thesis). Retrieved from Arab World English Journal (ID Number: 278) October, 2021: 1- 85.
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