How do Saudis complain?
A dialogue-analytic analysis of the Najdi dialect
The current study adopts a dialogue-analytic approach to the examination of complaint behavior in Saudi Arabic as spoken in the Najd region, the central region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. To this end, role-plays with 120 Saudi nationals who are Najdi-speakers were recorded and transcribed. Statistical comparisons revealed that Najdis used a variety of complaint strategies with requests for repair, expressing annoyance and providing modified blame being the most frequent. Najdis also produced a large number of initiators and internal and external modifiers, mainly to mitigate the negative force of complaints. Although a small influence was found for gender, the variables of age, social distance and social dominance showed a strong influence on the Najdis’ complaint behavior. The results are discussed in light of relevant theoretical models and the existing literature.
Keywords: speech act, complaint, variational pragmatics, Saudi Arabic, Mixed Game Model
Published online: 12 July 2019
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