IMPERATIVES IN HOTEL SERVICE ENCOUNTERS: THE CASE OF JORDANIAN LEARNERS OF ENGLISH

Mahmoud Rababah, Minah Harun, Aspalila Shapii

Abstract


This paper examines the language of requests among the hotel trainees in Jordan. It seeks to explore the ways in which the trainees employ requestive strategies at the service counter in managing interpersonal and cross-cultural communication. Specifically, it discusses the Jordanian trainees' use of imperative requests compared with native speakers hotel staff and relates any divergences to politeness and cultural factors. The data collected include conversations between the trainees and hotel guests. The findings demonstrate that trainees rely more on imperative constructions and they favour conventional imperatives more than any other types. The findings also reveal that the trainees deviate from the native speakers' performance in terms of volume and types of strategies used. Some of these deviations may be due to Arabic language influence, pragmalinguistic and sociopragmatic transfer or to insufficient linguistic and pragmatic competences.

 

Article visualizations:

Hit counter

DOI

Keywords


imperatives, requestive strategies, pragmatic competence, hotel service encounter, cross-cultural communication

Full Text:

PDF

References


Al-Ali, M. N., & Alawneh, R. (2010). Linguistic mitigating devices in American and Jordanian students' requests. Intercultural Pragmatics, 7(2), 311-339.

Al-Ali, M. N., & Sahawneh, M. B. (2008). An investigation into the generic features of English requestive e-mail messages. LSP and professional communication (2001-2008), 8(2).

Al‐Gahtani, S., & Roever, C. (2015). The development of requests by L2 learners of modern standard Arabic: A longitudinal and cross‐sectional study. Foreign Language Annals, 48(4), 570-583.

Aston, G. (1995). Say ‘thank you’: Some pragmatic constraints in conversational closings. Applied Linguistics, 16(1), 57-85.

Atawneh, A. (1991). Politeness theory and the directive speech act in Arabic-English bilinguals. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Linguistics Department, State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Bailey, B. (1997). Communication of respect in interethnic service encounters. Language in Society, 26, 327-356.

Bardovi-Harlig, K. (2017). Acquisition of L2 pragmatics. The Routledge handbook of instructed second language acquisition, 224-245.

Bardovi-Harlig, K. (2019). Invitations as request-for-service mitigators in academic discourse. Journal of Pragmatics, 139, 64-78.

Barron, A. (2003). Acquisition in interlanguage pragmatics: Learning how to do things with words in a study abroad context. (Vol. 108). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamins.

Beebe, L. M., & Takahashi, T. (1989). Sociolinguistic variation in face-threatening speech acts. In The dynamic interlanguage (pp. 199-218). Springer, Boston, MA.

Bloch, P. H. (1995). Seeking the ideal form: Product design and consumer response. Journal of marketing, 59(3), 16-29.

Blue, G. M., & Harun, M. (2003). Hospitality language as a professional skill. English for specific purposes, 22(1), 73-91.

Blum-Kulka, S. (1992). The metapragmatics of politeness in Israeli society. In R. Watts, S. Ide, & K. Ehlich (Eds.), Trends in linguistics: Politeness in language, studies in its history, theory and practice (pp. 255–280). Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter.

Blum-Kulka, S., & Olshtain, E. (1986). Too many words: Length of utterance and pragmatic failure. Studies in second language acquisition, 8(2), 165-179.

Blum-Kulka, S., House, J., & Kasper, G. (1989). Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and apologies (Vol. 31). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Brown, P. & Levinson, S.C. (1987) Politeness: some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Cohen, A. D. (2018). Moving from Theory to Practice. Language Learning Strategies and Individual Learner Characteristics: Situating Strategy Use in Diverse Contexts, 31.

Cruz, M. P., & López, N. M. (2017). Interlanguage pragmatics in a service encounter: diagnosing how Spanish learners of English for the Tourism Industry inform tourists at a visitor centre. Letras de Hoje, 52(3), 310-321.

Dwyer, L., & Forsyth, P. (1997). Measuring the benefits and yield from foreign tourism. International Journal of Social Economics, 24(1/2/3), 223-236.

Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. (2002) Requesting strategies in English and Greek: Observations from an airlines call centre. Nottingham Linguistic Circular, 17.

Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. (2005). “‘Yes, tell me please, what time is the midday flight from Athens arriving?’”: Telephone service encounters and politeness. Intercultural Pragmatics, 2(3), 253–274.

Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. (2008). Internal and external mitigation in interlanguage request production: the case of Greek learners of English. Journal of Politeness Research: Language, Behaviour, Culture 4 (1), 111-138.

Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. (2009). Interlanguage request modification: the use of lexical/phrasal downgraders and mitigating supportive moves. Multilingua 28 (1), 79-111.

Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. (2010). Cross-cultural and situational variation in requesting behaviour: Perceptions of social situations and strategic usage of request patterns. Journal of Pragmatics, 42(8), 2262–2281.

Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. (2011). Please answer me as soon as possible: Pragmatic failure in non-native speakers’ e-mail requests to faculty. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(13), 3193-3215.

Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. (2012). Modifying oral requests in a foreign language: the case of Greek Cypriot learners of English. In: Economidou-Kogetsidis, M., Woodfield, H., Woodfield, Helen (Eds.), Interlanguage Request Modification. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, pp. 163-202.

Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. (2013). Strategies, modification and perspective in native speakers’ requests: A comparison of WDCT and naturally occurring requests. Journal of Pragmatics, (53) 21—38.

Ellis, R. (1992). Learning to communicate in the classroom: A study of two language learners' requests. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 14, 1-23.

Ervin-Tripp, S. (1976). Is Sybil there? The structure of some American English directives. Language in society, 5(1), 25-66.

Faerch, C., & Kasper, G. (1989). Internal and external modification in interlanguage request realization. In Blum-Kulka, S., House, J., & Kasper, G. (Eds.), Cross-cultural pragmatics: Requests and Apologies (pp. 221–247). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

Félix-Brasdefer, C. (2012). Pragmatic variation by gender in market service encounters in Mexico. In J. C. Félix-Brasdefer & D. Koike (Eds.), Pragmatic variation in first and second language contexts: Methodological issues (17-48). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Félix-Brasdefer, C. (2015). The Language of Service Encounters: A Pragmatic- Discursive Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Gussenhoven, C. (2002). Intonation and interpretation: phonetics and phonology. In B. Bel & I. Marlien (Eds.), Proceedings of the speech prosody conference, pp. 47-57.

Harlow, L. L. (1990). Do they mean what they say? Sociopragmatic competence and second language learners. The Modern Language Journal, 74(3), 328-351.

Hasan, R. (1985). The structure of a text. In M. A. K. Halliday & R. Hasan (Eds.), Language, context, and text: Aspects of language in social-semiotic perspective (pp. 52-69). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hassall, T, (1999). Request strategies in Indonesian. Pragmatics, 9(4), 585--606.

Hassall, T. (2001). Modifying requests in a second language. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL) 39 (4), 259-284.

Hassall, T. (2003). Requests by Australian learners of Indonesian. Journal of Pragmatics, 35(12), 1903-1928.

Hassall, T. (2012). Request modification by Australian learners of Indonesian. Interlanguage request modification, 203-42.

Hendriks, B. C. (2002). More on Dutch English... please?: a study of request performance by Dutch native speakers, English native speakers and Dutch learners of English. [Nijmegen]: Nijmegen University Press.

Jalilifar, A. (2009). Request Strategies: Cross-Sectional Study of Iranian EF Learners and Australian Native Speakers. English language teaching, 2(1), 46-61.

Jefferson, G. (1984). On the organization of laughter in talk about troubles. Structures of social action: Studies in conversation analysis, 346, 369.

Kasper, G. (1989). Variation in interlanguage speech act realisation. In S. Gass, C. Madden, D. Preston & L. Selinker (Eds.), Variation in second language acquisition (pp. 37-58). Clevedon, Avon: Multilingual Matters.

Kasper, G. (1990) Linguistic Politeness: Current Research Issues, Journal of Pragmatics. 14(2) pp.193-218.

Kasper, G. (1996b). Introduction: Interlanguage pragmatics in SLA. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 18, 145-148.

Kasper, G. (1997). Can pragmatic competence be taught? Honolulu: University of Hawaii. Second Language Teaching and Curriculum Center. Retrieved, 6, 2004.

Kasper, G. (2000) Data collection in pragmatics research. In Helen Spencer-Oatey (eds.) Culturally Speaking: Culture, communication and politeness theory (1st edition 2000) pp. 316-341. London: Continuum.

Kasper, G. (Ed.). (1992b). Pragmatics of Japanese as native and target language (Technical Report #3). Honolulu, HI: University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Second Language Teaching & Curriculum Center.

Kasper, G. (Ed.). (1995). Pragmatics of Chinese as native and target language (Technical report #5). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Kasper, G., & Dahl, M. (1991). Research methods in interlanguage pragmatics. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 13(02), 215-247.

Kasper, G., & Rose, K. (2001). Pragmatics in language teaching. In K. Rose & G. Kasper (Eds.), Pragmatics in language teaching (pp. 1–12). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Kasper, G., & Rose, K. (2002). Pragmatic development in a second language. Oxford, United Kingdom: Blackwell.

Kasper, G., & Schmidt, R. (1996). Developmental issues in interlanguage pragmatics. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 18(2), 149-169.

Kerbrat-Orecchioni, C. (2006). Politeness in small shops in France. Journal of Politeness Research, 2, 79-103.

Koester, A. (2010). Workplace discourse. A&C Black.

Koike, D. A. (1989). "Pragmatic competence and adult L2 acquisition: Speech acts in interlanguage." The Modern Language Journal73 (3): 279-289.

Królak, E., & Rudnicka, K. (2006). Selected aspects of directives in Polish. Revista española de lingüística aplicada, (19), 129-142.

Lamoureux, E. L. (1988). Rhetoric and conversation in service encounters. Research on Language & Social Interaction, 22(1-4), 93-114.

Larina, T. (2015). Culture-specific communicative styles as a framework for interpreting linguistic and cultural idiosyncrasies. International Review of Pragmatics, 7(2), 195-215.

Márquez Reiter, R. (2011). Mediated business interactions. Intercultural communication between speakers of Spanish. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

McCarthy, M. (2000). Mutually captive audiences: Small talk and the genre of closecontact service encounters. In J. Coupland (Ed.), Small talk (pp. 84-109). London: Pearson Education.

McCarthy, M. M. (2018). A Pragmatic Analysis of Requests in Irish English and Russian. TEANGA, the Journal of the Irish Association for Applied Linguistics, 25, 121-137.

Merritt, M. (1976). On questions following questions in service encounters. Language in society, 5(3), 315-357.

Merritt, M. (2015). 9 Service Encounters in the Natural World: Bringing Children Along. In A Multidisciplinary Approach to Service Encounters (pp. 189-210). BRILL.

Mir, M. (1993). Direct requests can also be polite. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Conference on Pragmatics and Language Learning (Champaign, IL, April 1-3).

Olshtain, E. (1989) Apologies across languages. In S. Blum-Kulka, J. house, and G. Kasper (eds.) Cross-cultural Pragmatics: Requests and Apologies. Norwood. NJ: Ablex Publishing Corporation pp. 155-173.

Placencia, M. E. (2004). Rapport-building activities in corner shop interactions. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 8, 215–245.

Placencia, M. E. (2005). Pragmatic variation in corner store interactions in Quito and Madrid. Hispania, 583-598.

Placencia, M. E., & Rueda, A. M. (2011). Vaya,¡ qué chungo! Rapport-building talk in service encounters: the case of bars in Seville at breakfast time. In Spanish at Work (pp. 192-207). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Ramírez-Cruz, H. (2017). ¡ No manches, güey! Service encounters in a Hispanic American intercultural communication setting. Journal of Pragmatics, 108, 28-47.

Reiter, R. M., & Bou-Franch, P. (2017). (Im) politeness in Service Encounters. In The Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic (Im) politeness (pp. 661-687). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Reiter, R. M., & Bou-Franch, P. (2017). (Im) politeness in Service Encounters. In The Palgrave Handbook of Linguistic (Im) politeness (pp. 661-687). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Roever, K., & Al-Gahtani, S. (2015). The development of ESL proficiency and pragmatic performance. ELT Journal, 69(4), 395–404.

Ruhi, Ş. (2006). Politeness in compliment responses. Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), 16(1), 43-101.

Samarah, A. Y. (2015). Politeness in Arabic culture. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 5(10), 2005-2016.

Sato, S. (2008). Use of “please” in American and New Zealand English. Journal of Pragmatics, 40(7), 1249-1278.

Scarcella, R., & Brunak, J. (1981). On speaking politely in a second language. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 1981(27), 59-76.

Schauer, G. A. (2009). Interlanguage pragmatic development: The study abroad context. London: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Scollon, R., & Scollon, S. W. (2001). Intercultural Communication (Second ed.). Blackwell, Malden, MA.

Scollon, R., Scollon, S. W., & Jones, R. H. (2011). Intercultural communication: A discourse approach. John Wiley & Sons.

Searle, J. (1975). Indirect speech acts. In Cole P., & Morgan J. L. (Eds.), Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech acts (pp.59-82). New York: Academic Press.

Shively, R. L. (2008). Politeness and social interaction in study abroad: Service encounters in L2 Spanish (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Shively, R. L. (2011). L2 pragmatic development in study abroad: A longitudinal study of Spanish service encounters. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(6), 1818–1835.

Shively, R. L. (2013). Out-of-class interaction during study abroad: Service encounters in Spain. Spanish in Context, 10(1), 53-91.

Sifianou, M. (1992a). Politeness Phenomena in England and Greece: A Cross-cultural Perspective. Clarendon Press, Oxford.

Sifianou, M. (2013). The impact of globalisation on politeness and impoliteness. Journal of Pragmatics, 55, 86-102.

Skewis, M. (2003). Mitigated directness in Honglou meng: directive speech acts and politeness in eighteenth century Chinese. Journal of Pragmatics, 35(2), 161-189.

Solon, M. (2013). Cross-cultural negotiation: Touristic service encounters in Yucatán, Mexico. In Selected Proceedings of the 15th. Hispanic Linguistics Symposium (pp. 252-268).

Spencer-Oatey, H. (2000). Culturally speaking: Managing rapport through talk across cultures. In H. Spencer-Oatey (Ed.), Culturally speaking: Managing rapport through talk across cultures. London, England: Continuum.

Spencer-Oatey, H. (2005). (Im)politeness, face and perceptions of rapport: Unpackaging their bases and interrelationships. Journal of Politeness Research, 1, 95-119.

Su, Y., & Ren, W. (2017). Developing L2 pragmatic competence in Mandarin Chinese: Sequential realization of requests. Foreign Language Annals, 50(2), 433-457.

Taguchi, N. (2006). Analysis of appropriateness in a speech act of request in L2 English. Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), 16(4), 513-533.

Taguchi, N. (2018). Advanced second language pragmatic competence. The handbook of advanced proficiency in second language acquisition, 505-526.

Taguchi, N., & Roever, C. (2017). Second language pragmatics. Oxford University Press.

Takahashi, S. (1996). Pragmatic transferability. Studies in second language acquisition, 18(2), 189-223.

Tawalbeh, A., & Al-Oqaily, E. (2012). In-directness and politeness in American English and Saudi Arabic requests: A cross-cultural comparison. Asian Social Science, 8(10), 85.

Traverso, V. (2001). Syrian service encounters. Pragmatics. Quarterly Publication of the International Pragmatics Association (IPrA), 11(4), 421-444.

Traverso, V. (2006). Aspects of polite behaviour in French and Syrian service encounters: A data-based comparative study. Journal of Politeness Research, 2, 105-122.

Trosborg, A. (1995). Interlanguage pragmatics: Requests, complaints and apologies. Berlin, Germany: Mouton de Gruyter.

Ventola, E. (1987). The Structure of Social Interaction: A Systemic Approach to the Semiotics of Service Encounters. London: Frances Pinter.

Ventola, E. (2005). Revisiting the service encounter genre: Some reflections. Folia Linguistica, 39, 19-43.

Wen, X. (2014). Pragmatic development: An exploratory study of requests by learners of Chinese. Studies in Second language acquisition of Chinese, 30-56.

Wierzbicka, A. (1985) Different cultures, different languages, different speech acts: Polish vs. English. Journal of Pragmatics. 9(2-3) pp. 145-178.

Woodfield, H. (2008). Interlanguage requests in English: A contrastive study. In Contrastive Pragmatics: Interlanguage and Cross-Cultural Perspectives, Martin

Woodfield, H. (2012). I think maybe I want to lend the notes from you: Development of request modification in graduate learners. In H. Woodfield & M. Economidou-Kogetsidis (Eds.), Interlanguage request modification (pp. 9-49). Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Woodfield, H. (2015). Sociopragmatic variation in native speakers’ and ESL learners’ requests. In Researching Sociopragmatic Variability (pp. 151-173). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Woodfield, H., & Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. (2010). "I just need more time": A study of native and non-native students' requests to faculty for an extension. Multilingua, 29(1), 77–118.

Yates, A. B. (2015). Pragmatic variation in service encounters in Buenos Aires, Argentina. IULC Working Papers, 15(1).

Yuen, W. L. (2009). An investigation of the politeness phenomena in hotel service encounters (Doctoral dissertation, Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University).

Zhang, Y. (1995) Strategies in Chinese requesting. In G. Kasper (eds.), Pragmatics of Chinese as native and target language, pp. 23-68. University of Hawaii at Manoa.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2015-2018. European Journal of Applied Linguistics Studies (ISSN 2602 - 0254 / ISSN-L 2602 - 0254). All rights reserved.


This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.