In The Name of God
Islamic Azad University
Ilam Science And Research Branch
Faculty of Humanities, Department of English Language Teaching
Thesis for Receiving “M.A” Degree on A Teaching
English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
Investigating apology strategies among Kurdish bilinguals, a case study in Ilam
H. Gowhari Ph.D.
A. Azizifar Ph.D.
IN THE NAME OF GOD
Investigating apology strategies among Kurdish bilinguals, a case study in Ilam
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts
Islamic Azad University, Ilam Science And Research Branch, Ilam, Iran
Department of English Language Teaching, Faculty of Humanities
ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN
EVALUATED AND APPROVED BY THE THESIS COMMITTEE AS:
……………….. H. Gowhary, Ph.D., ASSISTANT.PROF. (SUPERVISOR)
…………. A. Azizifar., Ph.D., ASSISTANT.PROF. (ADVISOR)
This thesis work is dedicated to my mother for giving birth to me at the first place and supporting me spiritually throughout my life.
Thanks to benevolent God who favored me one more time to carry out the present work. Thanks to all those great professors who are famous and well known and had a share in supporting me in writing this study.
My special thanks are to honorable professors: dear Dr. Habib G0whari as my advisor who guided me wisely and constantly while writing the current study I got benefit his keen suggestions.
I am really thankful to Dr. Akbar Azizifar who as the advisor admitted this suggestion humbly. I took advantage of his meticulous advice eagerly.
Last but not least, I am thankful to my family and those who patiently helped me in writing the current thesis.
Table of Contents
Chapter one Introduction
1.1. Statement of the Problem8
1.2. Research questions10
1.3. Research hypothesizes10
1.4. Significance of the study11
1.5. Definition of technical terms11
Chapter two: Literature review
2.1 Literature review17
2.2. The related empirical studies24
Chapter three: Methods and procedures
3.4. collection procedure 33
3.5. Data analysis34
Chapter four: Results and Discussion
4.2 .Demographic statistics36
4.2.1. Demographic statistics regarding the age of the participants36
4.2.2. Demographic statistics regarding the age of the participants37
4.2.3. Demographic statistics regarding the language of participants38
4.2.4. Demographic statistics regarding the education of the participants38
Table4.4: Frequency distribution of respondents in terms of education group39
4.3. Descriptive statistics39
4.3. Investigating the research hypotheses42
4.3.1. First hypothesis42
4.3.2. Second hypothesis:46
4.3.4. Fourth hypothesis53
4.4. As stated in chapter one, in this study four main hypothesis were formulated which are56
4.4.1. First hypothesis56
4.4.2. Second hypothesis58
4.4.3. Third hypothesis60
4.4.4. Fourth hypothesis61
Chapter five: Summary and conclusion
5.2. Summary of the study66
5.4. Implication for practice68
5.5. Limitations of study68
5.6. Suggestion for further research69
List of Tables
Table4.1: Frequency distribution of respondents in terms of Gender36
Table4.2. Frequency distribution of respondents in terms of Age group37
Table4.3. Frequency distribution of respondents in terms of language38
Table4.4: Frequency distribution of respondents in terms of education group39
Table4.5. the average and standard deviation of intensification scores used by all groups39
Table 4.6.The average and standard deviation of explanation scores used by all groups:40
Table 4.7.the average and standard deviation of all groups’ scores on taking responsibility40
Table4.8: The average and standard deviation of all groups’ scores on concern for the hearer41
Table 4.9: The average and standard deviation of all groups’ scores on denial of responsibility41
Table4.10: The average and standard deviation of all groups’ score on offer of repair42
Table 4.11: T- test for investigating the relationship between gender and intensification strategy43
Table 4.12: T- test for investigating the relationship between gender and explanation strategy43
Table 4.13: T- test for investigating the relationship between genders and taking responsibility44
Table 4.14: T-test for investigating the relationship between gender and concern for the hearer44
Table 4.15: T- test for investigating the relationship between gender and denial of responsibility45
Table .4.16: T- test for investigating the relationship between gender and offer responsibility45
Table 4.17: T- test for investigating the relationship between age and intensification strategy46
Table 4.18: T- test for investigating the relationship between age and explanation strategy47
Tabl4.19: T- test for investigating the relationship between age and taking responsibility strategy47
Table 4.20: T-test for investigating relationship between age and concern for the hearer strategy48
Table 4.21: T- test for investigating the relationship between age and denial of responsibility48
Table 22.4: T-test for investigating relationship between age and offer of repair strategy49
Table 23-4: T- test for investigating the relationship between language and intensification strategy50
Table 24.4: T- test for investigating relationship between language and explanation strategy50
Table 25-4: T- test for investigating relationship between language and taking responsibility51
Table 4.26: T- test for investigating relationship between language and concern for the hearer.51
Table 4.27: T- test for investigating relationship between language and denial of responsibility52
Table 4.28: T- test for the investigating the relationship between language and offer of repair strategy52
Table 4.29: T- test for investigating the relationship between education and intensification strategy53
Table4.30: T- test for investigating the relationship between education and explanation strategy54
Table4.31: T- test for investigating relationship between education and taking responsibility54
Table 4.32: T- test for investigating the relationship between education and concern for the hearer strategy55
Table 4.33: T- test for investigating the relationship between education and denial of responsibility strategy55
Table 4.34: T-test for investigating the relationship between education and offer of repair strategy56
Table 4.35. T- Test for investigating the relationship between gender and apology strategy56
Table 4.36. T-test for investigating the relationship between age and apology strategy58
Table 4.37. T- Test for investigating the relationship between language and apology strategies60
Table 4.38.To- Test for investigating the relationship between education and apology strategies61
List of figure
Figure 4.1. Frequency of respondents based on gender37
Figure 4.2. Frequency of participants based on age37
Figure4.3. Frequency of respondents based on language38
Figure4.4. Frequency of participants based on education39
The present study was aimed at exploring and describing apology strategies among Kurdish bilinguals in Ilam, Iran. It attempts to systematize the various strategies used for the purpose of apologizing from the pragmatic point of view. The current study involves 80 subjects of Kurdish bilinguals in Ilam, consisting of 40 male and 40 female subjects. The subjects were chosen randomly to participate in this study. The data of this study was collected through a controlled elicitation method based on questionnaire which is a modified version of ‘Discourse Compilation Test’. Descriptive and inferential statistical techniques such as T-Test have been used to show the meaningfulness of the relationship between gender, age, language, and education of respondents and their apology strategies. The prime finding of this study revealed that there is no meaningful relationship between gender, age, language and apology strategies used by Ilami people. However, education of respondents was found to be an effective factor on the use of apology strategy. The results indicated that the respondents have frequent tendency toward using “explanation”, “taking responsibility” and offer of “repair strategies”. They do not, however, show much inclination toward “intensification” and “concern for the hearer”.
Keyword: apology strategy, gender, bilinguals, speech act, Kurdish
“Apologies are defined as primarily social acts, carrying effective meaning “(Holmes, 1990, P.1550). According to Brown and Levinson, apologies are politeness strategies. An apology is primarily a social act. It is aimed at maintaining good relation between participants. To apologize is to act politely, both in vernacular sense and in more technical sense of paying attention to the addressee’s face needs (Brown and Levinson, 1987). An apology is a fundamental speech act which is a part of human communication occurs in every culture to maintain good relations between interlocutors.
Goffman (1967, p. 14) referred to an apology as a remedy, the one essential element in a remedial interchange. This term nicely highlights the central function of apologies to provide remedy for an offense and restore social equilibrium or harmony (Edmonson 1981, p. 280, leech, 1983, p. 25) (cited in Holmes, 1990, p. 159). Holmes(1990) defines an ‘apology’ is a speech act addressed to B’s face needs and intended to remedy an offense for which it takes responsibility , and thus to restore equilibrium between A and B (where A is the apologizer and B is the person offended). Apologies, like compliments, are primarily aimed at maintaining on supporting the addressee’s and in some cases the apologizer’s “face” (Goffman 1967). According to Brown and Levinson (1987), apologies are negative politeness strategies because they are face treating to the apologizer.”
Olshtain (1985, p.184) defines an apology as “a speech act which to intended to provide support for the hearer who was actually or potentially affected by violation”. when one offers an apology ,one shows willingness to humiliate oneself to an extent that make an apology a face-saving act for the hearer and face-threatening act for speaker. Apologies fall under expressive speech acts in which speakers attempt to indicate their attitude. In order for an apology to have an effect, it should reflect true feelings. One cannot effectively apologize to another and truly reach him/her unless one portrays honest feelings of sorrow and regret for whatever one has done (Gooder and Jacobs, 2000).
Apologies fall under expressive speech acts in which speaker attempt to indicate their state or attitude. In order for an apology to have an effect, it should reflect true feelings. One cannot effectively apologize to another and truly reach him/her unless one portrays honest feelings of sorrow and regret for whatever one has done” (fahmi, R. & fahmi, Rula, 2006, p.193).
An apology for Goffman (1971, p.140) is one type of ‘remedy’ among other. For Holmes (1995, p.155) it is a speech act that is intended to remedy the offense for which the apology take responsibility and as a result, to rebalance social relation between interlocutors”( Holmes 1995, cited in Nureeden 1993, p.281).
According to Olshtain and Cohen (1983, p.20) an apology is called for when social norms have been violated whether the offense is real or perceived. Every society has its own socio-cultural and communicative behaviors that relate to face (Goffman,1967) and politeness (Brown and Levinson, 1987) cognizant of the fact that interlocutors would under normal circumstances want to maintain the social face and be friendly and thus be liked (positive politeness). Interlocutors pay extra attention to their face need as well as the face-needs of all other international participants, interacts thus make every effort to save the face of all possible interactional participants. Leech (1983) labels this communicative strategy’ the tact maxim ̓ and notes that it is a strategy for avoiding conflict, specifically the goal of an apology as communicative strategy is the maintenance of harmony between interlocutors (Obeng 1999, p.712).
Olshtain and Cohen (1983, p.22) perceive apology as a social event when they point out that is performed when social norms are violated. Bergman and kasper (1993, p. 82) emphasize this view as they see that the purpose of apology is to reestablish social relation harmony after the offense is committed.
For her part, Lakoff (1997) notes that politeness and apologies are devices employed by interactants to help reduce friction in interpersonal communication. Thus, apologies provide a remedy for an offense and help restore harmony as well as social equilibrium (Holmes, 1995: Edmondson, 1981: Leech, 1993).
“Apologies are like other speech acts in that they are often performed through conventionalized or ritualized utterances. According to Hudson (1980:52) conventionalizing any linguistic pattern is a matter of historical accident. Once expressions are selected in preference to others to be used to perform certain acts, it becomes a necessity that they be used and interpreted as such. Certain forms are more conventional used more often others, such as (I am sorry) means “forgiveness” (Blum Kulka and Olshtain, 1984).
Blum-Kulka and Kasper (1993, p.59) state that speech acts differ in the extent to which conventionalized linguistic form are used; some speech acts, such as apologizing and thanking, exhibit more conventional usage than others do.
It is in the area of negative and positive politeness strategies that deviated from Brown and Levinson‘s framework begin to appear. Leech (1983), for example, would classify apologies as positive politeness strategies. Holmes (1990) argues that apologies can address both positive and negative face needs.
One of the most influential views on the classification of apologies is Goffman’s (1971), in which he distinguishes two type of compensations: ritual and substantive’ (Nureddeen, 2008, p.282). Following this distinction , Fraser (1981:265) provide two motivations associated with substantive and ritualistic apologies; in substantive apology the speaker want to remedy the damage or harm caused by the offense while the ritual may be produced as a kind of habit associated with certain routines or when the respondent is not responsible for the offense .
However, Obeng (1999) adds a compound apology (implicit apology+ explicit apology), which can be seen as a fourth type of apology within the same paradigm (cited in Nureddeen, 2008, p.282).
People usually apologize by means of semantically different types of expression; therefore, apology strategies are often described according to their semantic formulae. Different classifications provide by different scholars often overlap and while some lists are extended and detailed, other are rather broad. It is also worth mentioning here that newer classifications build on and consequently provide more comprehensive views than previous categorization models such as (Frasher, 1981; Olshtain and Cohen, 1983; Blum –Kulka and Olshtain, 1984; Holmes, 1989; Bergman and Kasper, 1993).
Bergman and Kasper (1993, p.94) used another model to analyze their data: IFID, downgrading (reducing the severity of offense, and reducing responsibility– including excuse and justification, claiming ignorance and denial); upgrading of use of adverbial (i. e. intensifying of IFID); taking on responsibility or admission of face); offer of repair; and verbal address (concern for the hearer and promise of forbearance).
The researchers found that the linguistic realization patterns of the act of apology can be performed in one of the two forms or a combination of both. The first and the most direct is done via explicit illocutionary force indicating device (IFID), which are per formative verbs expressing apology. Examples of these expressions include: “I ‘m sorry,” “excuse me”, “I apologize,” “Forgive me” “and pardon me”. “The other way for performing an apology is using four potential strategies (with or without IFID), (Goffman 1997). These strategies are (i) expression of responsibility; (ii) explanation or account of the cause brought about by the offense; (iii) an offer of repair and (iv) promise of forbearance. The first strategy, expression of responsibility was categorized to range from responsibility acceptance and explicit self-humbling to placate the complainer to a complete denial of the fault and evasive responses. The other three strategies were related to the type violation which occurred.
The apology strategies which are conducted by Blum-Kulka and Olshtain 1984; Trosberg , 1988 can be categorize as follow :
An expression of apology: (an expression of apology / IFID; an expression of regret, and request for forgiveness. For in this category, an apology is done via an explicit illocutionary force indicating device (IFID) (Searle, 1969: 69). IFID is a category en compassing the explicit use of apology expressions that mean sorry, forgive me etc. (Blum- Kulka and Olshtain 1984, p. 206).
An explanation or account: Is an expression that gives an account of the cause of the offense. In other words, the speaker explains why violation or damage happened. Both explicit and implicit explanations have been considered.
An acknowledgement of responsibility: This term refer to expression in which the apologizer admits to having responsibility for the offense. The respondent explicitly takes responsibility for the offense, such as accepting the blame, regretting, committing, the apology, indicating lack of intent and for admitting the offense. Taking on responsibility is the most explicit, most direct and strongest apology strategy.
An offer of repair: S may attempt to repair or pay for damage caused by the offense. An offer of repair is usually expressed explicitly. While expressing an offer of repair is usually associated with the future time, expressing that show the repair has already been done.
Promise for forbearance: In certain situations, the speaker may promise not to repair the offense in future. While in most studies of apologies, promise of forbearance is a separate category. In Bergman and Kasper (1993) it is classified alongside ‘concern for the hearer’ as verbal redress. promise of forbearance is a clear confession being responsible for the offense and performing it damages S‘s positive face wants, while concern for the hearer does not necessarily imply any sense of responsibility and carries no risk of damage to S‘s face.
Intensification: Blum-Kulka and Olshtain (1984) treated intensifications as an element within an apology strategy and not a separate strategy. However, the force of apology depends not only on the choice of an apology strategy but also on the number and type of strategies used in an apology that consist of an IFID only (I am sorry ) does not have the apologetic power of another that contains an IFID and an intensification maker (I ‘ m deeply sorry ). Alongside the use of adverbials ( e. g. very ) with the IFID and the repetition of the IFID, Blum- Kulka and Olshtain (1984) classified ‘concern for the hearer‘ and use of more than one strategy as intensification using multiple strategies as an intention of intensification is depend on the type strategies used.
Denial of responsibility: Denial of responsibility is the last apology strategy investigated in this study. Expressions in this category range from those in which respondents avoid taking responsibility to expression to which they directly blame another party.
1.1. Statement of the Problem
Men and women not only differ with each other biologically but also they are different in terms of the cognitive performances (fereshteh rahimzadehgan, 2008, p. 50).
Generally in the today societies, there is not an important obstacle in the lingual communication between men and women, but there are some differences in the social role of the both sexes; then, some differences in their elements structure and finally in their lingual behavior can also be observed. These differences can- be ignored in some of societies and may be limited to the certain pronunciation characteristics and idioms, but in the other societies these differences are important and should be regarded, and they include a series of the sound, grammar and vocabulary characteristics. In the view of some of linguists, the lingual differences of two sexes have arisen from the social gap, but in most of the societies men and women communicate with each other liberally and the social obstacles are very few and they haven’t any social effect on the extent of their relationship; thus, we cannot attribute the difference between the species relate to the gender to the very geographic, ethnic and class species (vida nooshin far 2008, p. 183).
The society and social indices always have affected the language so; we always witness the internal disorders and differences of one lingual society. Some indices such as gender, age, education, class and social state determine the kind of language application in the society (Neda Hedayat, 2005, p. 2).
Since the mid of 1970S, the linguists recognized the variables in the language that had been studied in the different social situations. Among these variables, gender factor was considered as the main variable in the analysis of the speech language that is more varied to the writing language. The differences related to the gender are a main issue in the human life and it is not wonder, if it has shown its effect on language. In some of languages, some of vocabularies and phonological of the speech are used only by men and some others by women. Sometimes these differences not only depend on the gender of speaker but also the gender of listener (Ibid, p. 2). Generally, we can say that the manner of articulation is affected by the social relations between men and also the kind of the society they live in it.
In any society speech differences between men and women are varied in term of belief, culture and life kind. It is not separated from this issue, Iran, a society we live in. The researches have shown that the kind of utterance is almost differed between men and women in our country. We can investigate these different from various aspects. In other words, not only men and women have their own characteristics in their speech kind but these features are varied regarding their bilingualism, age, job, social class, state and educational level. Investigation of the effect of each of these social factors on the language variations needs wide research.
In many societies some of the most important of these sociolinguistic divisions are associated with differences in social prestige, wealth, and power. Bankers clearly do not talk the same as busboys, and professors don‘t sound like plumbers. They signal the social differences between them by features of their phonology, grammar, and lexical choice, just as they do extra linguistically by their choices in 1.3.
1.2. Research questions
1. Is there any difference between the gender of the participants and their apology strategies?
2. Is there any difference between the age of participants and their apology strategy?
3. Is there any difference between the language of the participants and their apology strategy?
4. Is there any difference between the education of the participants and their apology strategy?
1.3. Research hypothesizes
1. There is no meaningful difference between the gender of the participants and their apology strategy.
2. There is no meaningful difference between the age of the participants and apology strategy.
3. There is no meaningful difference between the language of the participants and apology strategy.
4. There is no meaningful difference between the education of the participants and apology strategy.
1.4. Significance of the study
“Apologies are defined as primarily social acts, carrying effective meaning” (Holmes, 1990, P.1550). According to Brown and Levinson, apologies are politeness strategies. An apology is primarily a social act. It is aimed at maintaining good relation between participants. To apologize is to act politely, both in vernacular sense and in more technical sense of paying attention to the addressee’s face needs (Brown and Levinson, 1987). An apology is a fundamental speech act which is a part of human communication occurs in every culture to maintain good relations between interlocutors.
Gender and language studies in teaching profession are for promoting the equal behavior of male and female learner. Varieties and differences are used in men and women communication styles as well as for analyzing further communicative problem for woman engaged in men jobs. Hence, the present study seeks to examine the speech act apologizing among Kurdish bilinguals in Ilam, Iran.
1.5. Definition of technical terms
The important terms used throughout this study are as follows:
Apology strategies are the methods used by individuals to perform the speech act of apology such as statement of remorse and reparation. Statement of remorse is the strategy in which the wrong doer shows that she/he has done something wrong. Reparation is the strategy in which the wrong doer tries to repair the damage he/she has incurred on other and offers words that may cause the harm done to be forgotten (Olshtain and Cohen 1983, p. 234).
1. A person who knows and uses only one language.
2. A person who has an active knowledge of only one language, thought perhaps a passive knowledge of others ( G. Richard Tucker2003, p. 301).
A person who uses at least two languages with some degree of proficiency. In everyday use bilingual usually a mean a person who speak, reads, or understands two language equally well (a balanced bilingual), but a bilingual person usually has a better knowledge of one language than another. For example, he/she may:
a) Be able to read and write in only one language.
b) Use one language in different types of situation or DOMAINS, e. g. one language at home another at work.
c) Use one language for talking about school life and the other for talking about personal feelings.
The ability to read and write a second and foreign language does not necessarily imply a degree of bilingualism Such as the inhabitants of a particular region or nation (Blum and Kulka 1984, p. 65).
The use of two languages by an individual is known as individual bilingualism, and the knowledge of two languages by members of a whole community or the presence of two languages within a society is called societal bilingualism. When two languages or language varieties occur in a society, each having very different communicative functions in different social domains it is known as diglossia. ( G. Richard.Tucker 2003, p. 303).
Refers to sex as either a biological or socially constructed category. Gender is a personal sexual identity of an individual’s, regardless the person biological and outward sex, and refer to the socially constructed roles, activities, and attributes that a given society consider appropriately for men and women .Gender referring to the social and cultural elaboration of the sex difference – a process that restrict our social roles, opportunities and expectations. Since the process begins at birth, it could be argued that ‘gender ‘is the more appropriate term to use for the category than ‘sex’.
A speech act is an utterance that serves a function in communication. We perform speech act when we apology, greeting, request, complaint, invitation, compliment, or refusal. A speech act might contain just one word, as in “sorry” to perform apology. (Olshtain 1998, p. 152)
IFID (illocutionary force indicating device)
IFID is a category including the explicit use of apology expressions that mean sorry, forgive me, etc. (Blum-Kulka and Olshtain 1984, p. 206). It consists of categories like: explanation, taking responsibility, offer of repair, intensification of apology, concern for the hearer, and denial of responsibility. Some examples in Persian are:
moteassefam (I am sorry)
bebakhshid (forgive me)
and ozr mikhaam (excuse me)
Explanation is an expression that gives an account of the cause of the offense. In other word the speaker explains why the damage or violation happened(Blum-Kulka 1984, p.206). Some examples in Persian are:
Tu terafik gir kardam (I was stuck in traffic jam)
Ketab tu kifam bud amma az bas ajale dashtam un kife digam ra aavordam (The book was in the bag but since I was in hurry , I took another bag).
Taking responsibility refers to expressions in which the apologizer admits to having responsibility for the offense(Blum-Kulka 1984, p.210). The examples are regretting and admitting the offense. Some examples in Persian are:
Hagh darid mano sarzanesh konid (you have the right to blame me)
Manzuri nadashtam( I did not say or do it intentionally)
Offer of repair
Speaker may try to repair or pay for the damage caused by the offense. An offer of repair is often expressed explicitly. While stating an offer of repair is usually associated with the future time, expressions that demonstrate that the repair has already been done are also categorized as offer of repair (Blum-Kulka, 1984, p.211). The following are two examples:
Dorost mishe ishalla (It will be fixed , if God will)
Age khoda bekhad farad miaaramesh (I will bring tomorrow if God wills)
Concern for the hearer
Concern for the hearer is another apology strategy which is linguistic pattern that shows concern for the hearer(Blum-Kulka 1984, p.221). The following two examples show this strategy:
Shoker khoda salemid ( Thanks God you are safe)
Ishalleh ke toritun nist ( If God wills you are not hurt)
Intensification is an expression that an intensification maker uses of adverb such as: very, deeply and, etc(Blum-Kulka 1984, p.223). The following examples are:
Khili khili motaasefam ( I ‘m deeply sorry) .
Denial of responsibility
Denial of responsibility is an expression that the speakers avoid or deny of responsibility and they directly blame another party(Blum-Kulka 1984, p. 225) as the following examples show:
Be man rabti nadare ( This is not up to me)
Ghesmate dige (it is fate anyway)
Much has been written by different researchers on speech acts and apology. Researchers on apology strategies have revealed that different cultures have different rules for being polite. Many studies have recognized that a learner ̓s ability to use speech acts appropriately is a major part of pragmatic competence. Rintell (1979), defines pragmatics as the study of speech acts and argues that the learner ̓s pragmatic ability in the target language is reflected in how one produces utterances to communicate specific intentions ̓ and how one interprets other speaker ̓s intentions as conveyed by these utterances.
A great amount of research has examined apologies in different languages, considering various variables such as the politeness strategies employed, the cultural values reflected in the realization of an apology, gender, the factors affecting the choice/use of a particular strategy and the strategies used by native and non-native speakers. Olshtain (1989) compared strategies by speakers of English, French, German, and Hebrew and found considerable similarities in selecting expressions of responsibility. She concluded that different languages will realize apologies in very similar ways.
Sugimoto (1997) compared the apology styles of 200 American (79males and 121 females) and 181 Japanese (82 males and 99 females) college students who responded to an open-ended questionnaire. Sugimoto reported that the four most used strategies are statement of remorse, accounts, description of damage, and reparation, and that, with the exception of accounts; the Japanese respondents used these strategies more than their American counterparts. She also reported that compensation and promise were secondary strategies used mainly by the Japanese respondents.
Certain elements that have effect on impression that an apology make, have been discussed in the literature. Hussein (1995) claims that the formulas of any speech act are determined by social distance, formality of the situation, age, level of education, and status of the participants.
Hussein and Hammouri (1998) examined the apology strategies used by Americans and Jordanian speakers of English. They found that Jordanians use more strategies to apologize than Americans. Both groups use the expression of apology, offer of repair, acknowledgement of responsibility, and promise of forbearance, and only Jordanians use the strategies of praising God for what happened, attacking the offended, minimizing the degree of offenses and interjection .
Soliman (2003), in his comparison of Egyptian and American apology styles, has found the following similarities between the two cultures: 1. Intensifiers are used in both cultures to show sincerity. 2. Interjections, such as oh, are important to show that the offender really cares about what happened. 3. People in both cultures tend to express embarrassment for the offending act. 4.Egyptians tend to attack the offended when the offender thinks the offended cannot justify his/her position as in the incident where a headmaster blames a janitor he bumped into for the incident instead of apologizing to him. 5. Egyptians praise God for everything that happens, whether good or bad.
Yang et. al. (2008), found that the use of politeness strategies in CMD can foster a sense of community among participants by creating a comfort zone in which to exchange ideas as well as motivating student participation in the learning process. Yet, the same authors reported that the student in their study who was interacting online as part of a course activity sometimes showed evidence that their concerns about politeness interfered with their learning. Schallert et al. (2008), included graduate students’ self –perceptions of their own and others’ self-perception about their politeness concerns would be associated with their use of politeness strategies in term of amount and kind of actual politeness move in their online contributions. schallert et.al.used student ̓self-reflection papers to understand student ̓ self-awareness of their politeness concerns and chose two focal students who explicitly stated that they were less concern with politeness and three focal students who reported that they were highly concerned with issues related to politeness. They conducted a micro-discourse analysis of the written messages composed by these five selected focal students in three synchronous and three synchronous online discussions. Result showed that the two students who were less concerned with politeness used fewer politeness move and politeness strategies they used had less variety; whereas the three students who self-reported as having high concerns about politeness used more politeness move in their online discussion messages, and greater variety was found in the kinds of politeness strategies they used.
Brown and Levinson (1987:70) assert that apologies are acts that express negative politeness: they signal the speaker‘s awareness of having impinged on the hearer negative face, restricting H‘s freedom of action in some way. Apologizing, unlike face attacks such as insults, has a positive effect on the part of hearer (Holmes 1995: 155). To apologize is to attempt to placate or maintain H ‘hearer face; therefore, it is an inherent face-saving act for H (Edmonson et al. 1984:121). Brown and Levinson (1987:68) assert that apologies threaten S‘s positive face because they directly damage S‘s positive face wants (that S‘s action be approved and liked.
For Holmes (1995:155) apology is speech act that is intended to remedy the offense for which the apologizer takes responsibility and, as a result, to rebalance social relations between interlocutors .For Goffman (1971:140) an apology is one type of remedy among others. Another explanation of the nature of apology is given by Fraser (1981:262) who argues that apologizing is at the least taking responsibility for the infraction and expressing regret “ for the offense committed , though not necessarily for the act itself “. Olshtain and Cohen (1983: 22) perceive apology as a social event when they point out that it is performed when social norms are violated. Bergman and Kasper (1993:82) emphasize this view as they see that the reason for apology is to reestablish social relation harmony after the offense is committed.
The apology act is classified by linguists according to various criteria. Divisions are based on external factor such as object of regret or the situation. For Goffman (1971), however, at a certain level, apology is a class in itself within broader category: what he calls remedial work. For him, the remediation can be carried out via one of three devices: accounts, request and apologies. The common usage for an account is an excuse or an explanation, in an attempt to transfer to responsibility to a third party. Strategies used to do so include not admitting commission of the act, claiming ignorance of the effects of the act and claiming impaired competence. Requests consist of “asking license of potentially offended person to engage in what could be considered a violation of his right” (112). An apology is produced after the offense and, by expressing regret, apologizing, which is not clear in accounts.
For Coulmas(1981), it is possible that people offer apologies without really feeling responsible for offense, e g . When the speaker apologizes on behalf of other or another or where the offense cannot be avoided .In such cases, although the cause of the regret is not indebting, the speaker still shows concern for interlocutor for whom the object of offense is an unpleasant event. Coulmas claims that this type of apology is similar to expression of sympathy and therefore , similar forms are used (I ‘ m sorry ):coulmas goes on to argue, “at one end , apologies border and gradually merge in to expression of sympathy”, at the other end , where strong responsibility is felt by the speaker, apologies almost blend gradually in to thanks (76). However, Tannen (1994:47) argues that ‘I ‘m sorry’ is not always an apology; it can be used to achieve balance in the conversation, and if hearer understand it as an apology and responds accordingly, that may damages S’s face wants.
An influential view on the classification of apologies is Goffman (1971), in which he distinguishes to type of compensation: ritual and substantive. Following this distinction, Fraser (1981:265) gives two motivations associated with substantive and ritualistic apologies: the speaker tries to remedy the harm or damage cause by the offense in substantive apology while the ritual apology may be produced as habit associated with certain routines or when the respondent is not really responsible for the offense.
Another classification of apology is proposed by Kerbrat-Orecchioni (cited in Obeng 1999:714), to describe apology strategies in French. The classification outlines two main ways of performing an apology: act of apology and act of justification for wrongdoing. The