13 March 2013

My Comparative Study of Refusal Speech Acts in Turkish and English in a College in Northern Cyprus


  • INTRODUCTION    
            While learning another language, one may not understand or comprehend the given sentences alone.  To make clear these sentences to the learners and to establish a relationship between linguistic forms and people who use these forms are the research areas of pragmatics.  According to pragmatics, a language is perceived with the situations.  That is, pragmatics is related to speech acts.  Speech acts are the terms and actions such as apologies, suggestions, complaints, refusals etc…  Most language learners often use refusals in their daily lives.  However, when they rejected demands of others in the second language, learners may use their own communicative strategies as they used in their native language (Yamagashira, 2001, p. 259).
              Focus of this study was to explore what strategies Turkish speakers and English speakers used for situations differently and similarly.


  • METHOD
          A questionnaire in English was given to five native speakers of English.  The questionnaire in both Turkish and English was given to Turkish students who learned English. Participants answered the situations by rejecting them.  According to their rejection types, the answers were categorized and separated according to their native of English or Turkish. The categories were refusals to a request, refusals to an invitation, refusals to an offer and refusals to a suggestion.


  • RESULTS

            Findings showed that they gave similar refusals to the scenarios generally. Why they had so similar thoughts while refusing something can be that native speakers of English stayed in Cyprus more than two years. They interacted with Turkish people. The reason of differences can be their different status and their different ages because Turkish participants were students. That is, they could just imagine the situations. Maybe, They did not have these experiences. However, native speakers of English had some experiences due to their ages and their status.
            Moreover, it was concluded that when the study was done with more participant, results became more satisfactory.  In this study, Turkish participants used more daily language while refusing in Turkish language.  However, when it came to English, they chose being formal to refuse the interlocutor.