Investigating Cross-Linguistic and Cultural Differences in Refusal Speech Act among Iraqi Speakers Speaking English and American Native Speakers


Abstract This study aims at investigating the speech act of refusal performed by Iraqi speakers speaking English (ISSE) and American native speakers (ANS) with respect to linguistic devices and cultural differences. To this aim, the following questions should be answered:1. What strategies do Iraqi speakers speaking English and American native speakers use when they refuse offers, requests, suggestions, and invitations? 2. Is the choice of refusal strategies affected by culture? 3. How the use of refusal strategies is affected by the interlocutor status? 4. Regarding the Iraqi subjects responses, is there any evidence of pragmatic transfer? The discourse completion test (DCT) developed by Beebe et al (1990) is used for this purpose. Twenty participants, ten Iraqis and ten Americans take part in this test. The findings indicate that there are many differences among the Iraqis and the Americans in making refusals. The differences can be attributed to cultural differences between Iraqi and American cultures.