The Investigation of Pragmatic Transfer in the Speech Act of Congratulations by Punjabi EFL Learners

  •  Asif Aziz    
  •  Binish Maqsood    
  •  Tahir Saleem    
  •  Summiya Azam    


This paper investigates pragmatic transfer in Punjabi EFL learners’ realization of the speech act of congratulations. For this purpose, 120 participants were asked to take part in the study, who were divided into four groups having 30 participants in each group: 30 native English (NE) speakers, 30 Punjabi EFL learners of the elite class, 30 Punjabi EFL learners of the middle class and 30 Punjabi EFL learners of the lower class. To elicit the data, a DCT having 12 situations based on social power and distance was used and for perception data, these situations were analyzed on the basis of four contextual variables (degree of familiarity, power, difficulty, and obligation in expressing congratulations) in the form of SRQ. The criteria for the analysis of negative pragmatic was set on the differences found in the responses of the participants and the positive pragmatic transfer was based on the similarities between the responses of the participants. The data was coded and analyzed under the taxonomy of congratulations proposed by Elwood (2004). The results of the study indicated the presence of negative pragmatic transfer in three different strategies of congratulation (IFID, OOGW and Overlapped) and the remaining of the strategies indicated the existence of positive pragmatic transfer. The findings of the study show the cultural influence on the use of congratulation strategies by Punjabi EFL learners. The results of the study might be pedagogical significance and could prove helpful for policymaker and syllabus designer as well within Pakistani context.

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