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THE ACQUISITION OF POLITENESS STRATEGIES



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THE ACQUISITION OF POLITENESS STRATEGIES BY AFGHAN LEARNERS OF ENGLISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE by SONA QURAISHI B A Balkh University 1994 A THESIS submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree MASTER OF ARTS Department of Modern Languages College of Arts and Sciences KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY Manhattan Kansas 2009 Approved by Major Professor Dr Mary T Copple Copyright SONA QURAISHI 2009 Abstract Using the framework for politeness developed by Brown and Levinson 1987 this research evaluates the production of politeness strategies by sophomore and senior EFL learners in Afghanistan by focusing on the language used in letters of inquiry Twenty eight letters emailed by Afghan students at Balkh University were surveyed by thirteen native American English speakers Each letter was surveyed by six different American participants who gave their perspectives about the effectiveness and politeness of the language used in the letters by the students The American participants evaluations of politeness were compared with actual linguistic features employed including the word choice in the salutation and closing the use of indirect language and politeness markers e g thank you or other expressions of appreciation The results show that a relationship between proficiency and politeness exists consistent with the findings of Tanaka and Kawade 1982 who found that second language learners acquire both linguistic and pragmatic knowledge as the learning of the target language progresses In addition this study describes the linguistic behavior perceived as most polite by the native speakers and reflects on possible instructional implications Table of Contents List of Tables viii Acknowledgements ix Dedication x CHAPTER 1 Introduction 1 1 0 Personal Experience with L2 Politeness 1 1 1 The Importance of Politeness Strategies in Effective Communication 2 1 2 Research Questions 6 1 3 Dari 7 1 4 Politeness in Dari 7 1 5 Politeness in American English 9 1 6 Summary 11 CHAPTER



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