Saudi Arabian and American Offer Responses:
Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Speech Act Comparisons
Using a discourse completion task, this study gathers and analyzes more than 1,000 speech acts used to realize offer responses within four speaker groups: American English speakers, Saudi Arabic speakers, and intermediate and advanced native Arabic-speaking learners of English. Data is compared and contrasted cross-culturally and with regard to interlanguage pragmatics and proficiency level. Of value to language educators and interpreters alike, the findings show that Arabic speech acts tend to include more direct refusals and acceptances compared to English ones, which are often rendered with indirect strategies like dissuasion and expressions of feeling and opinion. Also found is evidence of learner L2 pragmatic acquisition as well as some negative transfer.
Keywords: pragmatics, interlanguage, cross-culture, speech act, offers, Arabic, English