Since the majority of Arabic language institutes teach Modern Standard Arabic (MSA), studies of the speech act performance of learners of Arabic as a second/foreign language compare learners’ productions made in MSA with the productions of native Arabic speakers. However, MSA is not spoken natively, and Arabic speech acts are performed orally. Therefore, individuals in the sample group either use their own dialect or they consciously code-switch to MSA, which leads to artificial production, especially when those productions are elicited via a written DCT. The present study, however, used the closed role-play data collection method so as to investigate the development of refusals to invitations made by L2 learners of Emirati Arabic at two levels of ability, low-intermediate and advanced, and to compare their production with the production of native Emirati Arabic speakers. The goal here is to determine whether there is a positive correlation between the learners’ language proficiency and their pragmatic development. Further, the study seeks to determine whether length of residence in the target community plays a significant role in acquiring Emirati Arabic refusals to invitations. The goal of the study’s second objective is to determine whether there is a positive correlation between length of residence in the target community and pragmatic development. Regarding both objectives, the current study is interested in revealing whether or not the status of interlocutors (higher, equal, or lower) modifies the degree of directness, semantic formulas, and content of NSs and NNS’s refusals to invitations in the same way. The study used the same classification scheme of refusal strategies that was proposed by Beebe et al. (1990) but with different situations and scenarios. Findings showed differences between the NS and NNSs of Emirati Arabic in the frequency, content, and order of the semantic formulas used as well as the effect of interlocutors’ social statuses on these variables. Further, findings revealed that learners of Emirati Arabic were remarkably more direct than the Emirati Arabic NSs, while the former learners who remained longer in the target community produced refusal patterns similar to those the Emirati Arabic NSs produced.
|Advisor:||Al-Ani, Salman, Morkus, Nader|
|Commitee:||Clements, Joseph, Walbridge, John|
|Department:||Near Eastern Languages and Cultures|
|School Location:||United States -- Indiana|
|Source:||DAI-A 79/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Linguistics, Near Eastern Studies, Sociolinguistics|
|Keywords:||Interlangauge pragmatics, Length of residence and language proficiency, Politeness, Pragmatic competence, Refusal, Speech acts|
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