International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Expressing Complaint by Jordanian EFL Learners: An Interlanguage Pragmatic Study
Husam Sh. Al-Momani

This study investigates the performance of complaint speech act by Jordanian English foreign language (EFL) learners compared with that of American English native speakers, as well as the influence of the first language of Arabic (negative pragmatic transfer) on Jordanian learners’ use of complaints. This study used a discourse completion task to collect data from 75 participants divided into three groups: 25 native speakers of American English, 25 Jordanian EFL learners, and 25 Jordanian Arabic native speakers. The findings revealed that the learners' group deviated from both the target and native language groups, and produced more complaint strategies that made their complaints more elaborate and intense. Regarding the use of individual strategies, the learners’ deviation from American English norms of speech was the norm, rather than the exception. The findings also showed that a major reason for this deviation was Jordanian learners’ tendency to transfer some complaint strategies from their native language, Arabic. The study concludes with a summary and directions for future research.

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