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A Study of pragmatic strategies of English of Thai university students: Apology speech acts

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Thijittang, S (2010) A Study of pragmatic strategies of English of Thai university students: Apology speech acts. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

Pragmatics is about language in use. It is concerned with the relationships between
linguistic forms and the users of those forms. In order to communicate successfully,
language users should have pragmatics competence which is the ability to use language
forms suitably to sociocultural context. Consequently, language users need to acquire
not only linguistic rules but also sociolinguistic rules of language use to perform the
speech acts appropriately. Apology, among other speech acts, has received great
attention in pragmatics research as politeness is essential in human interaction. Though
being polite is preferred universally, the connotation of politeness might differ across
culture. In intercultural communication, lack of apology awareness, could lead to
offense or misunderstandings, both in producing the appropriate apology and perceiving
the intended meaning from other speakers. This study is aimed at examining crosscultural
pragmatics by focusing on apologies in Thai and English and investigating the
production of interlanguage apologies of Thai EFL (English as a Foreign Language)
learners in terms of different sociolinguistic variables. The study focussed on two main
aspects: a Discourse Completion Task (DCT) and qualitative data from an interview.
Previous studies were analyzed and contrasted to find the similarities and differences of
apologies in Thai and English as the native Thai speakers and native English speakers’
pragmatic norms. The quantitative eliciting data was collected through a DCT
questionnaire from 160 Thai undergraduate students of various disciplines at a
university in Thailand while the qualitative data was gathered from an individual
interview with nine of the original 160 students in order to find the apology strategies
use and the views toward significance of apology and apology teaching in language
learning. The contrastive findings showed that there are more strategies for apologizing
in English than in Thai. Also, universality and culture-specificity co-exist in the act of
apologizing in Thai and English. The interlanguage data revealed the influence of
sociolinguistic factors: social distance, social status and severity of offense.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: pragmatic strategies, apology speech acts, interlanguage pragmatics,politeness, situational context
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Date Deposited: 05 May 2011 05:43
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 05:53
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