CROSS-CULTURAL PRAGMATICS: REFUSALS OF REQUESTS BY AUSTRALIAN NATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE LEARNERS OF ENGLISH

| April 29, 2007
Title
CROSS-CULTURAL PRAGMATICS: REFUSALS OF REQUESTS BY AUSTRALIAN NATIVE SPEAKERS OF ENGLISH AND VIETNAMESE LEARNERS OF ENGLISH

Author
NGUYEN, Thi Minh Phuong
UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND
Abstract
This study investigates similarities and differences in refusals of requests between Australian native speakers of English (AEs), and Vietnamese learners of English (VEs) using a modified version of the discourse completion task (DCT) developed by Beebe et al. (1990). 40 AEs (20 males and 20 females) and 40 VEs (20 males and 20 females) participated in the study, resulting in 1440 speech acts of refusals. Data were analysed using the Simple Concordance Programme (SCP) and Excel functions to compare the frequency of SARs in selected situations. It was found that the frequency of use of SARs by AEs is different from that by VEs, though they do share some similarities. While AEs share the same number of SARs when they communicate with their interlocutors, VEs are more sensitive to the social status and the social distance of the requesters. In addition, and related to differences in culture, AEs and VEs also differ in the ways they say NO to their conversational partners. VEs are apt to express refusals more elaborately. They used more statements of regret, more statements of sympathy, more addressing terms and more reason/excuse/explanations in their refusals than AEs. The excuse/reason/explanations given by VEs reveal their reluctance to express their disinclination to comply, in contrast to the AEs.
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Category: Thesis