The art of mitigating disagreement: How EFL learners do it

Kusevska, Marija (2015) The art of mitigating disagreement: How EFL learners do it. Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics, 2 (1). ISSN 2303-5528

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Abstract

The principal motivation of this study is to investigate how Macedonian learners of English mitigate their disagreement. It is a follow-up of a much broader study in the field of cross-cultural pragmatics focusing on disagreement in Macedonian and American English (Kusevska, 2012). Our cross-cultural analysis reveals that Macedonian and American native speakers show preference for different types of disagreement, the major difference being the frequency of mitigation as well as the linguistic means used for its realisation. For the purpose of this study, we have accepted the definition that mitigation is the linguistic communicative strategy of softening an utterance, reducing the impact of an utterance, or limiting the face loss associated with a message (Fraser, 1980; Caffi, 1999, 2007; Martinovski, 2006; Clemen, 2010; Czerwionka, 2012). As mitigation in disagreement is closely connected with politeness, we have also relied on the model of politeness and the strategies for FTA realisation proposed by Brown & Levinson (1978/1987). We have looked at lexical and syntactic devices such as modal auxiliaries (e.g., can/could; may/might), hedges (kind of, sort of), discourse markers (well, but, look), verbs expressing uncertainty (I think, I don’t think), verbs expressing vagueness (seem, assume, guess), conditionals etc., that learners use to mitigate their utterances. Key words: speech acts, disagreement, politeness, mitigation, EFL learners

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LA History of education
L Education > LT Textbooks
Divisions: J-FLTAL
Depositing User: Alma Milisic
Date Deposited: 25 Dec 2014 10:46
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2016 10:34
URI: http://eprints.ibu.edu.ba/id/eprint/2793

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