Refusal and Politeness Strategies of Malay Speakers of English As A Second Language Strategi Penolakan dan Kesopanan Penutur Bahasa Melayu tentang Bahasa Inggris Sebagai Bahasa Kedua
- Politeness strategies,
- Open role-play,
- Refusal strategies,
- Speech act of offer,
- Face threatening act
Copyright (c) 2019 Norma Saad, Siti Jamilah Bidin, Ahmad Affendi Shabdin
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Politeness is an essential part in human communication. It plays a pivotal role in establishing and maintaining good relationships and social harmony. It is reflected by linguistic and non-linguistic behavior through which we indicate that we take others’ feelings of how they should be treated into account. The present study investigated the application of politeness strategies through the linguistic behaviour of twelve Malay English as a second language (MSE) undergraduate students when refusing their higher status interlocutor’s scholarship offer to pursue their studies at an overseas university. Selection of participants was based on a purposive sampling and on the students’ MUET results. The study examined how these students employed politeness strategies as they struggled to find an equilibrium between defending their stance of not accepting the scholarship and at the same time maintaining civility towards a persistent university officer. Data on refusal interactions between the students and the university officer were obtained through an open role-play which were transcribed, classified into semantic refusal strategies, categorized into the types of sequence orders of the strategies and finally classified according to Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies. The repertoire of MSE refusal strategies reveals positive politeness to be dominant followed by bald-on-record while negative politeness was employed minimally. Using a combination of these three types of politeness, the MSE refusal interactions show variation of politeness ranging from less to more polite. The study revealed that the degree of politeness depend very much on participants’ effort to adapt to the context of situation. The variation of strategies which reflect different degree of politeness generated by the study would be useful as pragmatic input. This input could be utilized by English language teachers to raise pragmatic awareness and to develop their students’ ability to use socially appropriate language for the situation they encounter.
- L. M. Beebe and T. Takahashi, “Sociolinguistics variation in face-threatening speech acts: Chastise- ment and disagreement,” in The dynamic interlan- guage, M. E. ., Ed. Plenum, 1989, pp. 199–281.
- D. Dippold, Reframing ones experience: face, iden- tity, and roles in L2 argumentative discourse, M. P.
- J. N. van ., Ed. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2008, Developing contrastive pragmatics. Interlan- guage and cross-cultural perspectives.
- E. Adegbija, “A comparative study of politeness phenomena in Nigerian English,” Yaruba and Ogori. Multilingua, vol. 8, pp. 57–80, 1986.
- S. Ide, “Formal forms and discernment: two neglected aspects of universals of linguistic polite- ness,” Multilingua, vol. 12, pp. 7–11, 1989.
- P. Brown and S. Levinson, Politeness: some univer- sals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
- G. Eelen, “A critique of politeness theories. Manch- ester: St. Jerome.” 2001.
- S. M. Gass and N. Houck, Interlanguage refusals: A cross-cultural study of Japanese-English. New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1999.
- J. C. Felix-Brasdefer, 2004, Unpublished doctoral dissertation.
- B. Fraser, “Perspectives on politeness,” Journal of Pragmatics, vol. 14, pp. 219–236, 1990.
- H. Grice, “Logic and conversation,” in Syntax and semantics, P. C. J. M. ., Ed., vol. 3. Academic Press, 1975, pp. 41–58, Speech acts.
- E. Goffman, Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to- face behaviour. New York: Anchors, 1967.
- P. Brown and S. Levinson, “Universals in language usage: politeness phenomena,” in Questions and Politeness: Strategies in interaction, E. G. ., Ed. Cambridge University Press, 1978, pp. 56–311.
- L. M. Beebe, T. Takahashi, and R. Uliss-Weltz, On the development of communicative competence in a second language, R. S. ., A. ., and E. ., Eds. Cambridge, MA: Newbury House, 1990, Pragmatic transfer in ESL refusals.
- M. Farnia and X. Wu, “An intercultural communi- cation study of Chinese and Malay university stu- dents’ refusal to invitation,” International Journal of English Linguistics, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 162–176, 2012.
- K. Billmyer and M. Varghese, “Investigating instrument-based pragmatic variability: Effects of enhancing discourse completion tests,” Applied Lin- guistic, vol. 21, pp. 517–552, 2000.
- Y. Al-Shboul, “An intercultural study of refusal strategies in English between Jordanian EFL and Malay ESL postgraduate students,” The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 29–39, 2012, Marlyna Maros & Mohamad Subakir Mohd Yasin.
- A. Al-Issa, “Sociopragmatic transfer in the perfor- mance of refusals by Jordanian EFL Learners: Evi- dence and motivating factors. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Indiana University of Pennsylvania.” 1998.