April 2007. Volume 2 Issue 1
Politeness Markers in Persian Requestives
Mohammad Ali Salmani-Nodoushan, University of Zanjan, Iran
Dr Mohammad Ali Salmani-Nodoushan is Assistant Professor of TEFL at the University of Zanjan, Iran. He has been teaching BA and MA courses at different Iranian Universities for the past fifteen year and is a member of the editorial boards of Asian EFL Journal, The Linguistics Journal, and I-Manager’s Journal of Educational Technology. He is also editor-in-chief of Iranian Journal of Language Studies (IJLS). His areas of interest include language testing and English for Specific Purposes (ESP).
This study aims at finding out whether Arabic learners of English (Emarati Females in particular) produce target-like compliment responses in English and whether pragmatic transfer can occur. Discourse completion tests (DCTs) and interviews were used to study the strategies employed when responding to compliments by native speakers (NSs) and Arabic non-native speakers (NNSs) of English. Findings suggest that Arabic (L1) expressions and strategies were sometimes transferred to English (L2). This study also indicates that Emarati female learners of English transfer some of their L1 pragmatic norms to L2 because they perceive these norms to be universal among languages rather than being language specific. It also indicates that Arabic NNSs of English have some misconceptions about NSs that affect the way they respond to their compliments. Some important cultural and pedagogical implications are discussed at the end of the paper.
Key words: pragmatic transfer, compliment responses, raising cultural awareness in the EFL/ESL classroom.
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