||A Study of the Correlation between EFL Learners’
Cultural Background and Refusal Speech Acts
||Department of English
Refusal Speech Acts
受測者包含40位以英文為母語，在美國加州求學的大學生及120位在台灣以中文為母語的大學生與大學英語教師。在台灣受試者當中，包含40位英語系學生、40位非英語系學生以及40位大學英語教師。為了解受試者的拒絕語言行為及跨文化認知，本研究採用三種研究工具，分別為情境對談補全測驗(Discourse Completion Test)、跨文化適應力檢核測驗(Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory)及文化背景與跨文化經驗問卷(The Background Information and Cross-Cultural Experience Questionnaire)，並輔以訪談收集拒絕行為差異之相關資料。
結果顯示無論是擁有中華文化或美國文化背景的受測者皆以間接拒絕語言行為作為主要的拒絕方式，在回應請求情境時尤甚。跨文化的差異存在於直接拒絕語言行為及其他具有文化獨特性的拒絕語言行為 (Other Refusal Speech Acts)。直接拒絕語言行為的差異與受試者的文化背景相關，而其他之拒絕語言行為的使用則和社會因素及受測者自身文化背景相關，並反映出該文化獨特的語言習性。
中、美文化中，受測者使用其他之拒絕語言行為之用意均為滿足面子語言行為(Face-Satisfying Acts)。英文系學生使用間接拒絕語言行為較為頻繁且呈現較高的母語語用移轉 (L1 pragmatic transfer)。大學英語教師較能運用中、美國文化獨特的語言習性及技巧來表達。涵化(acculturation) 則影響有外國經驗的受測者。跨文化效力似與語言程度和跨文化經驗正相關。本文除說明研究受限制之外並提出本研究之發現在英語教學上之應用與建議。
|| This study is a comparative study of refusal speech acts in Chinese and American cultures. The aim is to reveal cross-cultural universalities and variations of refusal speech acts in respect to the effects of social and contextual factors. It also explores the impact of cross-cultural awareness on refusal speech acts by means of both quantitative and qualitative analyses.
Participants were 40 native English speakers from California, USA, and 120 Chinese English speakers in northern Taiwan, whose English was a Foreign Language—40 English majors, 40 non-English majors, and 40 college English teachers—with varied cross-cultural experience. To elicit the use of refusal speech acts and the reflections of cross-cultural awareness, three instruments—the Discourse Completion Tasks (DCT), the Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory (CCAI), and the background information and cross-cultural experience questionnaire—were adopted. Interviews were conducted to offer in-depth information for variations of refusal speech acts.
Results suggest that the dominance of indirect refusal speech acts was a cross-cultural universality and especially favorable in requests. Cross-cultural variations were indicated in direct and other refusal speech acts. The different use of direct refusals was tied to the convention of the native culture. The choice of other refusal speech acts was relevant to social variables and the native culture, as it was cultural-specific. Other refusal speech acts typically functioned as Face-Satisfying Acts in both Chinese and American cultures. English majors were more indirect in refusals and higher in L1 pragmatic transfer than non-English majors. College English teachers were flexible in using language features from both Chinese and American cultures. The effect of acculturation on refusal speech acts was revealed for those with overseas experience. Cross-cultural effectiveness seemed to positively correlate to language proficiency and cross-cultural experience. Pedagogical implications and research limitations are also addressed.
||TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents.VI
List of Tables.X
List of AppendicesXII
Chapter One Introduction .1
Background and Motivation.1
Purpose of the Study.5
Significance of the Study.6
Definitions of Terms7
Organization of the Study8
Chapter Two Literature Review9
2.1 Language and Culture.9
2.1.1 Definitions of Culture.10
2.1.2 Characteristics of Culture.12
2.1.3 Communicative Competence.14
2.1.4 Intercultural Communicative Competence.17
2.1.5 Culture Awareness19
2.1.6 Cross-Cultural Adaptation21
2.1.7 Cross-Cultural Adaptability Index (CCAI)22
2.2 Speech Act Theory25
2.2.1 Type of Speech Acts.26
2.2.2 Felicity Condition.28
2.3 Pragmatic Principles30
2.3.1 Cooperative Principles.31
2.3.2 Violation of the Cooperative Principle.33
2.3.3 Politeness Principles.34
2.4 Face as Wants36
2.4.1 Strategies for Doing Face-Threatening Acts (FTA).37
2.4.2 Face in Chinese Culture.39
2.5 Refusal Speech Acts40
2.5.1 Cross-Cultural Studies on Refusal Behavior41
2.7 Research Questions.46
Chapter Three Methodology.48
3.1 The Polite Study48
3.2 Main Study51
3.4 Data Analysis65
3.4.1 Coding Scheme66
3.4.2 Analyses of the Refusal Speech Acts.70
3.4.3 Analyses of the Relationship between Refusal Speech Acts and Cross- Cultural Adaptabilities72
3.4.4 Reliability of Data Coding74
Chapter Four Results and Discussion75
4.1 Results of Refusal Speech Acts in the Discourse Completion Tasks (DCT)75
4.1.1 The Overall Frequencies of Refusal Speech Acts77
4.2 Refusal Speech Acts in Tasks of the Four Types of Initiating Acts.83
4.2.1 Refusal Speech Acts in the Offer Tasks.84
4.2.2 Refusal Speech Acts in the Request Tasks.88
4.2.3 Refusal Speech Acts in the Invitation Tasks.91
4.2.4 Refusal Speech Acts in the Suggestion Tasks94
4.3 Refusal Speech Acts in the Four Initiating Acts96
4.3.1 Indirect Refusal Speech Acts in Different Initiating Acts97
4.3.2 Direct Refusal Speech Acts in Different Initiating Acts.99
4.3.3 Adjuncts in Different Initiating Acts103
4.3.4 Other Refusal Speech Acts in Different Types of Initiating Acts.104
4.4 Refusal Speech Acts in Status-Equal and Status-Higher Situations106
4.4.1 Refusal Speech Acts in Tasks with Higher-Social-Status Initiators.108
4.4.2 Refusal Speech Acts in Tasks with Equal-Social-Status Initiators.111
4.5 The Impact of Social Status on Refusal Speech Acts in the Initiating Acts113
4.5.1 The Impact of Social Status on Indirect Refusals in the Initiating Acts.114
4.5.2 The Impact of Social Status on Direct Refusals in the Initiating Acts.115
4.5.3 The Impact of Social Status on Adjuncts in the Initiating Acts120
4.5.4 The Impact of Social Status on Other Refusals in the Initiating Acts121
4.6 The Relationship of Refusals and Cross-Cultural Adaptability124
4.6.1 Score Distribution of CCAI for the Mandarin-Speaking Groups.124
4.6.2 The Relationship between Refusal Speech Acts and Cross-Cultural Adaptability127
4.7 Refusals and Cross-Cultural Adaptability in Terms of Overseas Experiences130
4.7.1 Refusal Speech Acts in terms of Prior Overseas Experience.131
4.7.2 Cross-Cultural Adaptability in terms of Prior Overseas Experience133
4.7.3 The Impact of Prior Overseas Experience on Refusal Speech Acts and Cross-Cultural Adaptability135
4.8 Examples of Refusal Speech Acts in the Four Initiating Acts.136
4.8.1 Examples of Refusal Speech Acts in Offers.136
4.8.2 Examples of Refusal Speech Acts in Requests140
4.8.3 Examples of Refusal Speech Acts in Invitations141
4.8.4 Examples of Refusal Speech Acts in Suggestions.143
Chapter Five Conclusion.147
5.1 Summary of the Major Findings.147
5.2 Pedagogical Implications .152
5.3 Limitations of the Study154
5.4 Suggestions for Future Research. .155
LISTS OF TABLES
Table 3.1 Demographic Information of the Four Participant Groups.53
Table 3.2 Discourse Completion Task Design61
Table 3.3 Semantic Taxonomy of Refusal Strategies (Beebe et al., 1990).68
Table 4.1 Frequencies of the Overall Refusal Speech Acts in the Four Groups.78
Table 4.2 The Rank of Frequencies for Refusal Speech Acts.82
Table 4.3 Four Types of Initiating Acts in DCT84
Table 4.4 Frequencies of the Refusal Speech Act in Offer Tasks85
Table 4.5 The Rank of Frequencies for Refusal Speech Acts in Offer Tasks87
Table 4.6 Frequencies of the Refusal Speech Acts in the Request Tasks88
Table 4.7 The Rank of Frequencies for Refusal Speech Acts in Request Tasks.89
Table 4.8 Frequencies of the Refusal Speech Acts in the Invitation Tasks.91
Table 4.9 The Rank of Frequencies for Refusal Speech Acts in Invitation Tasks.92
Table 4.10 Frequencies of the Refusal Speech Acts in the Suggestion Tasks.95
Table 4.11 The Rank of Frequencies for Refusal Speech Acts in Suggestion Tasks.95
Table 4.12 Group Choices of Initiating Acts in Indirect Refusal Speech Acts.97
Table 4.13 Group Choices of Initiating Acts in Direct Refusals.99
Table 4.14 Group Choices of Initiating Acts in Adjuncts103
Table 4.15 Group Choices of Initiating Acts in Other Refusal Speech Acts.104
Table 4.16 Two Types of Social Status of the Initiators in DCT.107
Table 4.17 Frequencies of the Refusal Speech Acts in Status-Higher Situations.108
Table 4.18 The Rank of Frequencies for Refusals in Status-Higher Situations110
Table 4.19 Frequencies of the Refusal Strategies in Status-Equal Situations.112
Table 4.20 The Rank of Frequencies for Refusals in Status-Equal Situations113
Table 4.21 Group Choices of Indirect Refusals in Terms of the Initiator’s Social Status115
Table 4. 22 Group Choices of Direct Refusals in Terms of the Initiator’s Social Status116
Table 4.23 Group Choices of Adjuncts in Terms of the Initiator’s Social Status120
Table 4.24 Group Choices of Other Refusals in Terms of the Initiator’s Social Status121
Table 4.25 Score Distribution (%) of CCAI for the Mandarin-Speaking Groups.125
Table 4.26 The Relationship between Refusal Speech Acts and Cross-Cultural Analyses of English Majors.128
Table 4.27 The Relationship between Refusal Speech Acts and Cross-Cultural Adaptability of College English Teachers128
Table 4.28 The Effect of Overseas Experience on Refusal Speech Acts131
Table 4.29 The Effect of Prior Overseas Experience on Score Distribution of CCAI134
Table 4.30 The Relationship between Refusals and Cross-Cultural Adaptability of Participants with Prior Overseas Living Experience135
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