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Translation into English of the Politeness Strategies in the speech of Characters in Mahfouz’s Narratives

By Intercultural Encounters and Alham Albassam


The purpose of this study is to define the pragmatic features of Arabic as spoken by the people from Cairo (Egyptian Cairene Arabic). This research assumes that the pragmatic strategies are culture bound and applied systematically by the native speakers within their speech community. These three strategies of complaints, requests, and apologies are speech acts when one of the parties, the speaker or the listener, breaks the social norm of dialogue (utters or acts a socially unacceptable act) , whereas the other feels annoyed and seeks either retribution or prevention of future violations ( Olshtain and Weinbach 1993). Thus performance of requests, apologies, and complaints is embedded with team spirit, misunderstanding, and conflict. The interlocutors or characters in their dialogues in this collection of stories, speakers and listeners, use both the positive and negative face needs using different strategies of solidarity and deference politeness according to the type of relationship between the two parties whether that of power or distance. The common Arabic mitigating strategies are the use of playful expressions such as metaphors, allusions (proverbs and words from the Koran, Prophet’s words and lines from familiar poetry), jokes, and hyperbole-overstatement or understatement- to avoid to some extent direct questions. These pragmatic strategies lead t

Year: 2006
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