“Move away so I can Hear!”- American and Iranian Male University Students’ Responses to Rudeness – A Pilot Study

By Maryam Farnia, Lyn M. Buchheit and Majid Vedaei.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Although speech acts are universal phenomena which occur in all languages, the realizations of speech acts are culturally-specific. Language learners should not only have linguistic competence, but they should also be aware of the appropriate use of a given function in the target language. In addition, unlike certain speech acts which have received a great deal of research (e.g. request, apology, complaint), certain other speech acts have attracted few researchers’ attention (e.g. responding to rudeness)
The objective of the present contrastive pragmatic study is to investigate pragmatic behavior of male native speakers of English and Farsi in response to situations in which they experience offensive and rude language directed toward them. Data were elicited through an open ended questionnaire in the form of Discourse Completion Task (DCT) from a sample of ten American and ten Iranian male university students. The data were coded based on Beebe and Zhang Waring’s (2005) classification of responding to rudeness. This study is significant both in terms of the choice of the specific speech act (responding to rudeness) and the choice of a male student population (i.e. American and Iranian) as no previous study has addressed this speech act with this specific dyad. The findings of the study are anticipated to have useful insight for research in pragmatic competence as well as teaching speech acts.

Keywords: Speech Act, Responding to Rudeness, Contrastive Pragmatics

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp.51-64. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 674.216KB).

Maryam Farnia

English Language Studies Section, University Sains Malaysia, Gelugor, Penang, Malaysia

Maryam Farnia is currently a PhD student in Linguistics at English Language Studies Section at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia. Her areas of interests include interlanguage pragmatics, contrastive pragmatics and language teaching.

Prof. Lyn M. Buchheit

Associate Professor, Department of English, Community College in Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Lyn Buchheit graduated with a M.S. in TESOL in 1991 from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an associate professor and currently assistant chair for ESL in the English Department at the Community College of Philadelphia. At the University of Pennsylvania English Language Programs, she also teaches courses for international second language graduate students. Her current research is in the area of language input processing and advanced health care communication for ESL students.

Majid Vedaei

English Department, Azad University of Khorasgan, Esfahan, Esfahan, Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Majid Vedaei is an MA graduate in EFL teaching from Azad University of Najaf Abad, Iran. He has been teaching English professionally for the last 16 years. His areas of interest are English language teaching and applied linguistics.

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