A comparison of Arabic and English directness and indirectness : Cross-cultural politeness.

KERKAM, Zainab M. (2015). A comparison of Arabic and English directness and indirectness : Cross-cultural politeness. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

This thesis examines cross-cultural variation in directness and indirectness by discussing the ways in which they function and are interpreted in Arabic and English. It shows that our understanding of directness and indirectness should not be restricted to a specific view which might not be applicable cross-culturally. I compare the two forms in both language communities, rather than simply outlining the main differences between them. I focus as much on the similarities between the ways in which directness and indirectness are performed in these two cultures as on the differences between them, in order to demonstrate that these two cultures are not polar opposites. I also examine what might be considered appropriate with respect to directness and indirectness and how these forms are conventionalised in relation to politeness and impoliteness in each culture. My data consists of a mixed methods approach: quantitative, (questionnaires) as well as qualitative (focus groups and naturally occurring data). The variety of data examined in both languages makes the results obtained through this study of greater interest. However, this is not to argue that a given language or cultural community is homogeneous, nor that a generalisation about the understanding and function of directness and indirectness can be made cross-culturally. In addition, this research argues for the inadequacy of the traditional theories of politeness, which fail to provide sufficient engagement with cultural and contextual aspects, which play a significant role in evaluating interactions. Thus, I move towards a more appropriate approach, that is a discursive approach, to the analysis of politeness, which is a context- and situation-based model. In this way, I hope to develop a more contextual and adequate approach to cross-cultural politeness and impoliteness research.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2015.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:20
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2018 16:54
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19906

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