Investigating condolence responses in English and Persian

2013 IJRSLL – Volume 2 Issue 1


Pishghadam, Reza
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran (

Morady Moghaddam, Mostafa*
Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran (


This study intends to investigate condolence responses in Persian and English. The data collection instrument was movies. The movies were utilized to study the responses native speakers employ when someone offers condolences to them. Since there was no model of comparison, the researchers had to make one based on the nature of responses collected from movies. Seven categories of responses were recognized. The categories are: token of appreciation; expressing sorrow; sharing feeling; comment on the deceased; topic avoidance; self-blame statement; and divine comment. The Chi-square formula was then employed to find out whether there are any significant differences between the observed frequencies. The findings showed that Persian responses are more celestial and collectivist in nature while English condolence responses are more terrestrial and individualistic. Finally, the results were discussed and some suggestions were made.

Keywords: pragmatics; speech acts; condolence responses; movie analysis; Chi-square



*Corresponding Author