Islamic Azad University
Ilam Science And Research Branch
Faculty of Humanities, Department of English Language Teaching
Thesis for Receiving “M.A” Degree on A Teaching
English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
Investigating apology strategies among Kurdish bilinguals, a case study in Ilam
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Chapter one Introduction
List of Tables
List of figure
The present study was aimed at exploring and describing apology strategies among Kurdish bilinguals in Ilam, Iran. It attempts to systematize the various strategies used for the purpose of apologizing from the pragmatic point of view. The current study involves 80 subjects of Kurdish bilinguals in Ilam, consisting of 40 male and 40 female subjects. The subjects were chosen randomly to participate in this study. The data of this study was collected through a controlled elicitation method based on questionnaire which is a modified version of ‘Discourse Compilation Test’. Descriptive and inferential statistical techniques such as T-Test have been used to show the meaningfulness of the relationship between gender, age, language, and education of respondents and their apology strategies. The prime finding of this study revealed that there is no meaningful relationship between gender, age, language and apology strategies used by Ilami people. However, education of respondents was found to be an effective factor on the use of apology strategy. The results indicated that the respondents have frequent tendency toward using “explanation”, “taking responsibility” and offer of “repair strategies”. They do not, however, show much inclination toward “intensification” and “concern for the hearer”.
Keyword: apology strategy, gender, bilinguals, speech act, Kurdish
“Apologies are defined as primarily social acts, carrying effective meaning “(Holmes, 1990, P.1550). According to Brown and Levinson, apologies are politeness strategies. An apology is primarily a social act. It is aimed at maintaining good relation between participants. To apologize is to act politely, both in vernacular sense and in more technical sense of paying attention to the addressee’s face needs (Brown and Levinson, 1987). An apology is a fundamental speech act which is a part of human communication occurs in every culture to maintain good relations between interlocutors.
Goffman (1967, p. 14) referred to an apology as a remedy, the one essential element in a remedial interchange. This term nicely highlights the central function of apologies to provide remedy for an offense and restore social equilibrium or harmony (Edmonson 1981, p. 280, leech, 1983, p. 25) (cited in Holmes, 1990, p. 159). Holmes(1990) defines an ‘apology’ is a speech act addressed to B’s face needs and intended to remedy an offense for which it takes responsibility , and thus to restore equilibrium between A and B (where A is the apologizer and B is the person offended). Apologies, like compliments, are primarily aimed at maintaining on supporting the addressee’s and in some cases the apologizer’s “face” (Goffman 1967). According to Brown and Levinson (1987), apologies are negative politeness strategies because they are face treating to the apologizer.”
Olshtain (1985, p.184) defines an apology as “a speech act which to intended to provide support for the hearer who was actually or potentially affected by violation”. when one offers an apology ,one shows willingness to humiliate oneself to an extent that make an apology a face-saving act for the hearer and face-threatening act for speaker. Apologies fall under expressive speech acts in which speakers attempt to indicate their attitude. In order for an apology to have an effect, it should reflect true feelings. One cannot effectively apologize to another and truly reach him/her unless one portrays honest feelings of sorrow and regret for whatever one has done (Gooder and Jacobs, 2000).
Apologies fall under expressive speech acts in which speaker attempt to indicate their state or attitude. In order for an apology to have an effect, it should reflect true feelings. One cannot effectively apologize to another and truly reach him/her unless one portrays honest feelings of sorrow and regret for whatever one has done” (fahmi, R. & fahmi, Rula, 2006, p.193).
An apology for Goffman (1971, p.140) is one type of ‘remedy’ among other. For Holmes (1995, p.155) it is a speech act that is intended to remedy the offense for which the apology take responsibility and as a result, to rebalance social relation between interlocutors”( Holmes 1995, cited in Nureeden 1993, p.281).
According to Olshtain and Cohen (1983, p.20) an apology is called for when social norms have been violated whether the offense is real or perceived. Every society has its own socio-cultural and communicative behaviors that relate to face (Goffman,1967) and politeness (Brown and Levinson, 1987) cognizant of the fact that interlocutors would under normal circumstances want to maintain the social face and be friendly and thus be liked (positive politeness). Interlocutors pay extra attention to their face need as well as the face-needs of all other international participants, interacts thus make every effort to save the face of all possible interactional participants. Leech (1983) labels this communicative strategy’ the tact maxim ̓ and notes that it is a strategy for avoiding conflict, specifically the goal of an apology as communicative strategy is the maintenance of harmony between interlocutors (Obeng 1999, p.712).
Olshtain and Cohen (1983, p.22) perceive apology as a social event when they point out that is performed when social norms are violated. Bergman and kasper (1993, p. 82) emphasize this view as they see that the purpose of apology is to reestablish social relation harmony after the offense is committed.
For her part, Lakoff (1997) notes that politeness and apologies are devices employed by interactants to help reduce friction in interpersonal communication. Thus, apologies provide a remedy for an offense and help restore harmony as well as social equilibrium (Holmes, 1995: Edmondson, 1981: Leech, 1993).
“Apologies are like other speech acts in that they are often performed through conventionalized or ritualized utterances. According to Hudson (1980:52) conventionalizing any linguistic pattern is a matter of historical accident. Once expressions are selected in preference to others to be used to perform certain acts, it becomes a necessity that they be used and interpreted as such. Certain forms are more conventional used more often others, such as (I am sorry) means “forgiveness” (Blum Kulka and Olshtain, 1984).
Blum-Kulka and Kasper (1993, p.59) state that speech acts differ in the extent to which conventionalized linguistic form are used; some speech acts, such as apologizing and thanking, exhibit more conventional usage than others do.
It is in the area of negative and positive politeness strategies that deviated from Brown and Levinson‘s framework begin to appear. Leech (1983), for example, would classify apologies as positive politeness strategies. Holmes (1990) argues that apologies can address both positive and negative face needs.
One of the most influential views on the classification of apologies is Goffman’s (1971), in which he distinguishes two type of compensations: ritual and substantive’ (Nureddeen, 2008, p.282). Following this distinction , Fraser (1981:265) provide two motivations associated with substantive and ritualistic apologies; in substantive apology the speaker want to remedy the damage or harm caused by the offense while the ritual may be produced as a kind of habit associated with certain routines or when the respondent is not responsible for the offense .
However, Obeng (1999) adds a compound apology (implicit apology+ explicit apology), which can be seen as a fourth type of apology within the same paradigm (cited in Nureddeen, 2008, p.282).
People usually apologize by means of semantically different types of expression; therefore, apology strategies are often described according to their semantic formulae. Different classifications provide by different scholars often overlap and while some lists are extended and detailed, other are rather broad. It is also worth mentioning here that newer classifications build on and consequently provide more comprehensive views than previous categorization models such as (Frasher, 1981; Olshtain and Cohen, 1983; Blum –Kulka and Olshtain, 1984; Holmes, 1989; Bergman and Kasper, 1993).
Bergman and Kasper (1993, p.94) used another model to analyze their data: IFID, downgrading (reducing the severity of offense, and reducing responsibility– including excuse and justification, claiming ignorance and denial); upgrading of use of adverbial (i. e. intensifying of IFID); taking on responsibility or admission of face); offer of repair; and verbal address (concern for the hearer and promise of forbearance)
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