What’s Beyond the Language of Apology? A Case Study

Ala’ Al-Qtaishat


This study investigates the realization of the speech act of apology. It seeks to analyze the linguistic patterns used to represent apology from a pragmalinguistic point of view. It aims at presenting an actual insight on the impact of gender and social practices on performing different apology strategies through providing empirical evidence on the impact of the mother tongue on acquiring apology competence by EFL learners. The study made use of the written Discourse Completion Test (DCT) including 20 scenarios administrated to three groups of respondents of both genders: 100 native speakers of Jordanian Arabic, 100 Jordanian EFL learners, and 50 native speakers of American English. The findings revealed that gender has influenced the use of different apology strategies between the males and females of each group. It was also indicated that the sociocultural practices have played a big role in the socio-linguistic realization of apology. This impact was more pronounced throughout the different preference to the use of apology strategies among the three groups. In addition, it was found that there are interlingual hypotheses concerning the foreign language pragmatics prompting the EFL learners to deviate from the native language and English norms of apology. Thus, it was concluded that the mother tongue influence is not the sole source of pragmatic deviations from the second language norms; this influence cannot be described as negative transfer but a creative process done by EFL Learners to master English.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v11i3.14229

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