The Generic and Registerial Features of Facebook Apology Messages Written by Americans and Jordanians

Basem I. M. Al-Raba’a


This paper aims at investigating the generic and registerial features of Arabic and English apology messages written on Facebook by Jordanian and American university students. The data collected by means of distributing a simulated written paragraph to the participants via Facebook consist of one hundred Arabic and English messages (fifty Arabic and fifty English). The results demonstrate that Arabic and English apology messages written on Facebook share the same communicative purposes, but differ with respect to the number of moves and the lexical and stylistic choices employed by both the Jordanian and American students. The findings of this study have been attributed to the universality of expressing apology, diglossia of Arabic, and to a variation in the subjects’ linguistic and sociocultural backgrounds and perceptions.

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

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