International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

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

Speech Act of Promising among Jordanians
Tun Nur Afizah Zainal Ariff, Ahmad Ibrahim Mugableh

Studies on speech acts in various languages and contexts could help bridge the gap among the speakers of different languages i.e. help to inform and alert speakers of the potential pragmatic failures that may arise in social, pedagogical and translation domains. These studies also may help speakers of dissimilar languages and cultures cope with interethnic communication difficulties. This article presents a study on speech acts that aims to fill the above-mentioned gap. The focus of the study is on the pragmatic analysis of the speech act of ‘promising’ in Jordanian Arabic. This particular article, however, concentrates on the analysis of the most prominent strategies of promising gender i.e. male promise and female promise. A questionnaire consisting of 17 hypothetical situations that express imitations of real life situation in Jordan was distributed to 140 Jordanians. The analysis reveals that Jordanians opt for either one or more of the following strategies when issuing their promises: discourse conditionals, tautological-like expressions, body-part expressions, self-aggrandizing expressions, time expressions, courtesy-like expressions, swearing in Jordanian Arabic that are utilized by Jordanians to forge promises with reference to expressions, adjacency pairs and false promises. Moreover, the analysis of this article have shown that there is a gender difference in the use of linguistic forms in the speech act of promising among Jordanian, i.e., use of body-expressions among women once they issue their promises. In account of that, women typically speak and hear a language of connection and intimacy stressing confirmations and support within their specific online communities. Their speech is inclusive, less direct, and avoids arguments and confrontation whenever possible. Men, on the other hand, speak and hear a language of status and independence, focusing on social order and the exhibition of knowledge and skill.

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