Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 10. Number 2. June 2019                                                     Pp.213-224
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol10no2.17

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Refusal as a Social Speech Act among Thai EFL University Students 

Yusop Boonsuk
Department of Western Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Prince of Songkla University, Pattani, Thailand

Eric A. Ambele (Corresponding author)
Department of Western Languages, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Prince of Songkla University, Pattani, Thailand

 

 

Abstract:

This paper discusses the commonly realised social speech act of refusal strategies in English among university students in the Southern part of Thailand, in explaining how they say ‘no’ to request and the effects of this speech act on the hearer’s face. Using Discourse Completion Test (DCT) to collect oral data in naturally-occurring situations, together with a qualitative analysis of the transcribed data according to Beebe, Takahashi, and Uliss-Weltz (1990) classification scheme of refusal, the study affirms that there are two major common ways of realising refusals to request in English among these students, namely: direct and, overwhelmingly, indirect refusal strategies. The findings also reveal that the last strategy of the classification scheme, adjuncts to refusals, was not found in the data. Similarly, not all the indirect refusal sub-strategies were found in the data. However, two novel sub-strategies: giving advice/explanation, and lack of empathy were found in the analysis. The findings have implications for better socio-cultural communication and interaction in a multicultural university context.
Keyword: Refusal strategies, social speech act, Thai EFL university students

Cite as:  Boonsuk, Y., & Ambele, E.A. (2019) Refusal as a Social Speech Act among Thai EFL University Students.
Arab World English Journal, 10 (2) 213-224.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol10no2.17

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Yusop Boonsuk, Ph.D, is an English lecturer/researcher in the Department of Western Languages,
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Prince of Songkla University. His research interest
focuses on World Englishes, Language Variation, English as a Lingua Franca, Intercultural
Communication, Sociolinguistics, and Language Ideology and Identity. https://orcid.org/ 0000-
0002-3923-6163