Giving Condolences by Persian EFL Learners: A Contrastive Sociopragmatic Study

Laila Samavarchi, Hamid Allami


Within Second Language Acquisition (SLA) research area, speech acts studies are often conducted to measure SL learners' pragmatic (in)competence. Unlike other speech acts, the speech act of giving condolences has not yet been the subject of cross-linguistic or cross-cultural studies across Persian and other languages. This initiative study attempts to investigate a comparative analysis of giving condolences across English and Persian. To this end, an English 15-item Discourse Completion Task (DCT) was given to 10 native speakers of English and to 50 Iranian EFL learners who were also given the Persian version of the DCT for the purpose of comparison. The results of a prior pilot study had indicated a significant difference between the two groups. The results of the main study also indicated a difference between the two groups as such some of the Persian EFL learners socioculturally transferred this speech act from their L1 into L2 while some others did not. On the whole, Persian EFL learners were more direct than the English natives while offering their condolences.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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