The Social Sciences

Year: 2010
Volume: 5
Issue: 4
Page No. 332 - 339

Certainty and Conventional Indirectness in Persian and American Request Forms

Authors : Abbass Eslami-Rasekh, Mansoor Tavakoli and Parisa Abdolrezapour

Abstract: Several studies have been carried out with the goal of investigating cross-cultural differences which exist between Persian and English, focusing on the realization of different speech acts in an Iranian context. This study focuses on the similarities and differences between Americans and Iranians with regard to the speaker’s assumed expectations of compliance in choosing from the conventionally indirect spectrum. The question is how uncertain the speaker was that the addressee would comply with the request when she/he chose a particular conventionally indirect request. The participants consisted of 22 American native speakers studying at Fresno State University and 30 Iranian M.A. students studying English at Isfahan University. The data for this study were collected via role plays, post-performance interviews and questionnaires. The results obtained show that in comparable situations, the Americans are generally more certain that the addressee would comply with the request than Iranians. It is argued that conventional indirectness appears to reflect different social meanings in English and Persian and that such differences should be taken into account in EFL instruction and in cross-cultural studies.

How to cite this article:

Abbass Eslami-Rasekh, Mansoor Tavakoli and Parisa Abdolrezapour, 2010. Certainty and Conventional Indirectness in Persian and American Request Forms. The Social Sciences, 5: 332-339.

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