Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number1.  March 2022                                    Pp. 300 -312

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Saudi Politeness: Request and Apology in the Context of Study and Work
at King Abdulaziz University
:A Pragmatic Study  

Nahed Moussa Farrag
English Language Institute
King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, KSA


Received:12/30/2021           Accepted:  2/15/2022                Published:3/24/2022


The present study investigates the frequently used speech acts related to positive and negative politeness techniques employed in requests and apologies by faculty members at King Abdulaziz University. Social interaction on University Campus reflects Hejazi culture located in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia. The significance of the study arises from its focus on university-life interaction between faculty members as it provides an investigation of positive and negative politeness strategies. The paper tries to answer two questions: 1) Is there a relationship between the faculty’s years of experience and the request strategies employed?  2) Is there a relationship between the faculty years of experience and the apology strategies used? To answer these questions, a Discourse Completion Test was developed and given to 30 faculty members. The findings of the study show that social power, which is derived from having more years of experience, affects the request and apology strategies used among Saudi female faculty members. Faculty members of an older generation tend to use syntactically more extended sentences in requests compared to their younger colleagues, to alleviate the sense of their social power and save others’ sense of face.  In contrast, the more youthful faculty members tended to use syntactically longer sentences in apologies compared to their older colleagues to show more respect. The study was conducted in Women Campus, and it is recommended to implement it on a larger scale with more participants to get more complete results.
Keywords: apology, face, mitigation, politeness strategies, softeners, syntactic down graders, request, speech acts

Cite as:  Farrag, N. M. (2022). Saudi Politeness: Request and Apology in the Context of Study
and Work at King Abdulaziz University- A Pragmatic Study. Arab World English Journal, 13 (1) 300 -312.


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Received: 12/30/2021
Accepted: 2/15/2022  
Published: 2/34/2022  

Dr. Nahed Moussa Farrag is a faculty member at King Abdulaziz University. She holds a Ph. D. degree in English Language and Literature. For about 25 years, she has designed and taught ESP, EAP, EFL and Literature courses at the university level in Egypt, Emirates and Saudi Arabia. Her research interests include Poetry, Pragmatics, Translation studies, and Writing skill.