Cross-Cultural Study of Refusal Speech Acts with American English and Taiwanese Mandarin
As Kasper (1990) noted, there is a need to conduct more studies to address potential inter-lingual variation to obtain a better understanding of the cross-cultural aspects of speech act performance. This study investigated the effect of the initiating acts on refusal strategies used by forty native speakers of Taiwanese Mandarin and forty native speakers of American English in three situations. Their responses were analyzed based on the taxonomy developed by Beebe, Takahashi, & Uliss-Weltz (1990). Results showed that indirect refusals were preferred by both of the groups, and higher frequencies of indirect refusals were found in refusals to requests, followed by refusals to invitations, and refusals to suggestions. Although there was no significant difference in indirect refusals, we have found that both of the groups had the highest frequencies in refusals to requests than in refusing to invitations and suggestions. Also, cross-cultural variations in indirect refusal substrategies were observed. For instance, Americans used more dissuading interlocutors in refusing requests; they also used more alternatives in refusing invitations. Their differences in refusals could be explained from cultural perspectives.
|關鍵詞||拒絕語、語用學、Refusal speech acts、Mandarin Chinese、Pragmatics|