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Speech Act Disagreement among Young Men in Iran

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Speech act of disagreement is one of the least attended among all the other types of speech act. The present study seeks to find out the ways in which this inherently threatening act is expressed by young male Persian speakers. To gather the needed data one hundred participants randomly selected from among a population of BA and MA students of Isfahan and Najafabad universities were asked to complete a discourse completion test (DCT) designed by the researchers. The respondents were to read six natural situations, and react to them via making disagreements. As the major focus of the study was the role that gender and power play in the application of politeness strategies, the participants were expected to disagree with two higher power interlocutors (one male and one female), two peers (one male and one female) and two addressees with lower power status (one male and one female). In order to analyze the units of disagreement, Muntigl and Turnbull’s taxonomy (1995) was employed. Students’ responses were further compared with Brown and Levinson’s politeness strategies. The results revealed that respondents use confrontational strategies more frequently whenever expressing their oppositions to a person with the same sex which could be explained with regards to the effect of social solidarity which can potentially over rule the effect of power and gender differences.


International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences (Volume 37)
A. Heidari et al., "Speech Act Disagreement among Young Men in Iran", International Letters of Social and Humanistic Sciences, Vol. 37, pp. 97-109, 2014
Online since:
August 2014

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[11] Yule G. ‏)1996‏(. Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ( Received 08 August 2014; accepted 17 August 2014 ) Appendix A Fig. 1. Disagreement to the chairman of the company. Fig. 2. Disagreement to the professor. Fig. 3. Disagreement to the colleague. Fig. 4. Disagreement to the classmate. Fig. 5. Disagreement to the younger sister. Fig. 6. Disagreement to the serviceman. Appendix B The English Version of the Discourse Completion Test Thank you very much for your time and help. Your Age: _ Hometown: _ Six scenarios are described below in which‏ you are expected to Disagree with the speaker on different occasions. How would you‏ respond? Please write out what you are to SAY in real life scenarios. 1. The Chairman of the company you work for planned a meeting to justify employees in connection with a workshop on modern methods of marketing; at the end of the meeting she emphasizes the benefits the workshop will have for the company, but because of the high costs of organizing and the economic status of the company you entirely disagree with her opinions, how will you express your opposition? 2. You are sitting in Dr. Omid Kalani's class who is one of the most exacting masters in your college; he describes the theories that have been obsolete for several years and declares that these are completely credible and so far pundits did not raise any alternative theory, given that you have had extensive studies in this area, how do you express your opposition? 3. You've decided to leave work for two to three hours before the end of working hours, at the same time, Mrs. Kamali one of your colleagues comes to your room and after explaining her schedule picks, starts talking‏ about the easiness of your job and says: the recent case which was handed over to you was just a piece of cake, but because of the difficulties you had while dealing with that case, you completely disagree with her, how do you express your opposition? 4. You are discussing with your friends courses of the next semester during the break between two classes; suddenly, Mr. Karimi, one of your classmates, says something about the difficulty‏ of the courses; ‏ note that a few days ago friends who are studying in the courses you are to pass next term tell you exactly the opposite of what he says, how do you express your opposition? 5. You've decided to spend some time outdoors with your family; suddenly your little sister suggests that you go to the park. But you prefer to go to the cinema and watch the recently released movie, how do you express your opposition? 6. You are studying sensitive documents in your room; at the same time the serviceman of company enters and starts talking about the new boss, he says: the boss is a bad-tempered person with whom you cannot come to terms at all, but because of your own interactions with the boss and what you have heard from other employees you completely disagree with him, how do you express your opposition.

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