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Chapter 1

THE PROBLEM AND ITS BACKGROUND

Over the past twenty-five years, linguists have investigated the realization

strategies of speech acts across a number of languages and cultures. The concept of

the speech act was first introduced by Austin (1962), and it captures an important

feature of language: saying something can also involve doing something. For

example, by saying “I am sorry”, a speaker is not only uttering a phrase in English but

is also performing an act, that of apologizing. Speech acts that have been frequently

investigated in the literature include apologies, requests, compliments, compliment

responses, complaints, expressions of gratitude, refusals, and disagreements.

Due to the globally ever-increasing number of English speakers from various

cultural backgrounds, English is frequently used as a means of intercultural

communication. It is currently an international language estimated to be spoken by a

quarter of the world’s population, at least to some extent. To enable effective

intercultural communication, it is necessary to give language learners insights into

their own culture as well as into the values of other cultural groups. In such a context,

cross-cultural pragmatic studies can play a pivotal role in illuminating the cultural

differences between English speakers from a wide range of linguistic and cultural

backgrounds.

Numerous cross-cultural and intercultural studies have shown that members of

different cultural groups draw on differing pragmatic norms while performing speech

acts. In other words, the cultural un-deepening’s of speech acts as well as the cultural
conceptualizations attached to them vary from one language and culture to another.

These differences can lead to intercultural miscommunication and misunderstanding

when people from different cultural backgrounds interact by means of a common

language like English.

Refusal is one of the speech acts which communication problems are likely to

happen. It refers to negative responses to requests, invitations, suggestions, offers

etc. Moreover, it is hard to reject offers, invitations, requests in foreign language due

to the lack of that non-native speakers may lack of the pragmatic knowledge or use it

improperly, what inevitably leads to various misunderstandings or may offend their

interlocutors.

To refuse is to say no. But, no, it is not just that. To refuse can be generative

and strategic, a deliberate move toward one thing, belief, practice, or community and

away from another. Refusals illuminate limits and possibilities, especially but not only

of the state and other institutions.

Furthermore, refusals, as all the other speech acts, occur in all languages.

However, not all languages/ cultures refuse in the same way nor do they feel

comfortable refusing the same invitation or suggestion.

In addition, it is also of interest due to their typically complex constructions.

They are often negotiated over several turns and involve some degree of indirectness.

In addition to this, their form and content tends to vary depending on the type of

speech act that elicits them (request, offer, etc.), and they usually vary in degree of

directness depending on the status of the participants.


Furthermore, refusals are complex speech acts, with their production usually

involving extended negotiations and verbal cooperation as well as face-saving actions

to mitigate their uncooperative nature. The initiation acts in response to which refusals

are issued, as well as social and situational variables.

For this reason, many language learners find refusals demanding speech acts

to perform. Refusals can therefore be problematic speech acts to perform in

intercultural encounters. Hence, depending on ethnicity and cultural-linguistic values,

the speaker must know the appropriate form and its function.

Background of the Study

One refuses to agree if it is against his or her will. If you ask a Greek to eat by

using your own dialect which is not on the Greek’s medium, then he or she will refuse

you or ignore you. If one is not familiar at something, he or she will probably going to

disagree or refuse. Refusals are generally issued in response to an elicitation act to

decline engaging in the activity proposed by the interlocutor. Two types of refusal can

be traced in the literature: genuine (also termed substantive), and ritual or ostensible.

While genuine refusals express exist in almost every language and culture, ritual

refusals are present only in some languages.

Genuine refusals express the speaker’s real intention to reject the action

proposed in the initiation act. However, ritual refusals only pretend to be genuine and

their main purpose is to show consideration towards the interlocutor. When a ritual

refusal is offered, a subsequent acceptance is likely if the interlocutor. When a ritual


refusal is offered, a subsequent acceptance is likely if the interlocutor repeats the

initiating turn. Unlike genuine refusals, which are face threatening acts, ritual refusals

are considered to be polite, face-enhancing speech acts. Because of the purpose of

genuine and ritual refusals, they need to be studied separately.

Refusals are considered to be face-threatening acts. They impose a threat to

the facts of the hearer in performing a refusal the speaker declines to give the

response his/her interlocutor expects to receive. Therefore, refusals can be

interpreted as form of disapproval or disrespect. The recipient of refusal might take

this act as a sign of impoliteness or ultimately or dislike.

It is for the reason that the researchers would like to view the Ilocano and

Tagalog refusals as a speech act with regards to the Grade 11 Senior High School

Students of Patria Sable Corpus College.

Statement of the Problem

The objective of the study is to know the different refusal of speech act of those

students who are belong to Ilocano and Tagalog races. The purpose is to know the

answer and verify the following questions:

1. What is the respondent’s profile in terms of;

 Name (optional);

 Age;

 Gender;

 Strand; and
 Spoken dialects

2. What are the perceptions of the student-respondent in using refusal as

speech act?

3. Is there a significant difference between Ilocano and Tagalog in using

refusal as speech act?

4. Are gender and dialect discriminating factors in refusal as speech act?

5. Recommendations

Significance of the Study

The Administrators. Is responsible for the effective organization of the school.

It is important to gain insight about the refusal act pertaining to the Ilocano and

Tagalog members of the school. The result will benefit to school, teachers, students,

to the parents of the students and for the researchers as well.

The Instructors. This will serve as their baseline information to learn other

language and develop their speaking skills through interacting with their students who

belong to different races.

Students. This study can help them to assess their interest in socializing

different languages and have the capabilities to concentrate in learning other

languages of other races through allowing themselves learning other languages.

Parents. This study will provide them the clearer insights with the role they play

while their child is enhancing their language speaking skills.


The Researchers. This study serves as their basis in enhancing their study in

different languages that they need to learn in the field of their profession.

Future Researchers. The study may serve as reference for similar or related

studies for the sake of educational endeavor and fulfillment.

Scope and Delimitations

The study focused only to the independent and dependent variables created.

The independent variables are the student’s profile while the dependent variable is

the speech act of Ilocano and Tagalog students in terms of refusal.

This study did not aim to show all the necessary information regarding the

refusal as speech act; the students as the respondents will certainly help the

community regarding this matter. Grade II students as the respondents will be given

a survey questionnaire. The information needed will be gathered based on made

questionnaires.

Definition of Terms

To fully understand the study, words or concepts used in the study are defined

in an alphabetical order:

Accent. A style or accustomed way of speaking language or pronouncing a

word with great stress or force.

Communication. It refers to a process of using language as a medium to

exchange information or to express ideas, thoughts, feelings, etc. to someone.


Dialect. It dialect is a variation of a standard languages spoken by a group of

people.

Ilocano. It refers to the people and their language at Northwestern Luzon.

Language. Is a body of words or signs that people use to express their

thoughts and feelings to one another; a form or manner of verbal expression.

Linguistics. It is the study of the structure and nature of human speech. It also

includes the languages used by individuals to communicate with others including how

language are modified.

Refusal. It is an act of refusing or declining an invitation of someone or an act

of showing that you will not do their favor.

Speech Act. It is an act of speaking or utterance that has performative

function in language and communication.

Tagalog. It is relating to the people in some part of Luzon or the language they

speak.