Gender Differences in the Use of Apology Speech Act in Persian

Fariba Chamani


The present study investigates gender differences in the use of apologies and examines the effect of social status and social distance of on the frequency of performing and receiving apologies among males and females, in a corpus of 500 apology exchanges collected through an ethnographic method of observation in Iran and coded according to Olshtain and Cohen's (1983) model. The results revealed that there were no significant gender differences in the use of apologies in Persian, and that only gender of apologizer affected the use of explanation and promise of forbearance significantly in the corpus. It was also found that males apologized to male strangers with the highest frequency while females exchanged most apologies with their female friends, and that both men and women apologized more to equals. Significant age differences were also observed in the corpus.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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