Friday, March 1, 2013

Speech Act of complaining in Turkish and English


  • This study was done as a part of my course requirements. The purpose of this study was to investigate the speech acts of complaining used by Turkish speakers of English and native speakers of English and show differences and similarities. Moreover, the study aimed to find out whether Turkish speakers made any positive or negative pragmatic transfer from their L1 in producing the same set of speech act.
  •  For this purpose 10 situations were created and presented to 5 native speakers of English and 5 Turkish speakers of English. Native speakers of English were asked to respond to the situations in English. On the other hand, Turkish speakers of English were asked to respond to the situations in both English and Turkish.
  •  Then participants’ complaint speech act sets were analyzed by using a coding from a previous study in the literature (Moon, 2002). Some of the differences and similarities between the two speech act sets were shown in a table. 
  • Finally Turkish participants’ responses both in English and in Turkish were analyzed and some negative and positive pragmatic transfers that Turkish speakers made from their native language were identified and shown in several examples
  • In this study, participants consisted of two groups: 5 native speakers of English and 5 native speakers of Turkish. Since we did not have much flexibility in terms of selection of participants, native speakers of English were selected from different countries which take place in the inner circle of English speaking countries such as Canada, US, and UK.  by using convenience sampling.
  •  Turkish participants were also selected by using convenience sampling among EFL students of a University in Northern Cyprus. Participants’ ages ranged from 22-50.
  •   Gender was not an important factor in this study.
After the responses of participants were collected and evaluated in terms of useability, the scale  was modified for this study.
All the results (both NSE’s and NST’s responses) were shown in a table which includes 10 situations.

There are some similarities and differences in terms of speech acts of complaining. Generally speaking, NSEs almost equally used both explicit and implicit references to the offensive act and offender.Secondly , they preferred doing or saying nothing in some situations. Turkish speakers of English have tendency to show explicit reference to the event and offender person.They absolutely used more accusing and threatening utterances to the offender than native speakers of English do.That the age avarage of Turkish speakers is much younger than English speakers’ can be an effective factor on this sparkling difference .Of course culturel differences also affects NSE’s and NST’s tendencies in terms of speech acts of complaining.Since we have time and length limitations, only some important similarities and differences were discussed in this study.In the same way, certain examples were used to show how inter-language of Turkish participants was affected from their native languages. Besides,some positive or negative pragmatic transfers made from L1 by Turkish participants were presented by using some examples.

1 comment:

  1. Very good research about complaining speech act! Congr!