Bavarsad, Samira Salehipour*
English Department, Najafabad branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran (Samira.email@example.com)
English Department, Najafabad branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran (Abbasseslamirasekh@yahoo.com)
English Department, Najafabad branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The speech act of disagreement is one of the areas of research that has not received much attention in the Iranian context. The focus of this study is to investigate the ways in which this act is expressed by Persian EFL learners and American native English speakers. To collect the data 140 participants (100 Persian EFL learners and 40 American native English speakers) were selected randomly from among undergraduate and graduate students of University of Isfahan and Islamic Azad University (Najafabad branch) majored in English and from Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This study is an attempt to find out the role that power might play in the employment of strategies to mitigate the threat of the act of disagreement in two nations. Students were asked to complete a discourse completion test (DCT) designed by the researcher. They were supposed to read nine situations, and react to them via making disagreements. Respondents were expected to disagree with three interlocutors with higher status, three peers and three with lower status. In order to analyze the utterances of disagreement, Muntigl and Turnbull’s taxonomy (1998) was employed. The results revealed that although both nationalities were concerned about the power status of interlocutors and try to apply the appropriate strategies while expressing their disagreements, Persian EFL learners were more cautious.
Keywords: speech act; disagreement; power; gender