Politeness orientation in the linguistic expression of gratitude in Jordan and England: a comparative cross-cultural study
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AbstractThe thesis investigates ways of communicating gratitude are perceived and realised in Jordan and England. It focuses on the impact of several variables on the expression of gratitude and examines the differences between the data elicited by pragmatic research instruments (DCT and role-play). Data were collected from native speakers: 46 Jordanian Arabic, 46 English natives using DCTs, role-plays and interviews. Slight similarities and significant cross-cultural differences were revealed in terms of gratitude expressions’ perception, number and strategy type. This cultural contrast reveals differences in the sociolinguistic patterns of conveying gratitude in verbal and nonverbal communication. The most important theoretical finding is that the data, while consistent with many views found in the existing literature, do not support Brown and Levinson’s (1987) claim that communicating gratitude intrinsically threatens the speaker’s negative face. Rather, it is argued that gratitude should be viewed as a means of establishing and sustaining social relationships. The findings suggest that cultural variation in expressing gratitude is due to the high degree of sensitivity to the interplay of several social and contextual variables. The findings provide worthwhile insights into theoretical issues concerning the nature of communicative acts, the relation between types of communicative acts and the general principles of human communication, especially rapport between people in social interaction, as well as the relation between culture-specific and universal features of communicative activity types. Differences were found between pragmatic research instruments. The outcomes indicate that using a mixture of methods is preferable as long as this serves the aim of the study as it merges their advantages by eliciting spontaneous data in controlled settings. The ramifications of this study for future multi-dimensional investigations of the contrasts between Arabic and English speaking cultures are expected to prove particularly significant in virtue of corroborating or refuting existing findings and in this way paving the way for new research.
CitationAl-Khawaldeh, N.N. (2014) 'Politeness orientation in the linguistic expression of gratitude in Jordan and England: a comparative cross-cultural study'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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