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Laparoscopic Endoscopic Surgical Science Pragmatic Competence of Young Children: A Case Study of Thanking, Requesting, and Apologizing [ALRJournal]
ALRJournal. 2019; 3(5): 76-86 | DOI: 10.14744/alrj.2019.47965

Pragmatic Competence of Young Children: A Case Study of Thanking, Requesting, and Apologizing

Ali Darabi Bazvand1, Alireza Khoram2
1College of Languages, University of Human Development, Kurdistan, Iraq
2Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters and Humanities, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran

Effective communication requires pragmatic competence. Such competence involves the correct use of conversational norms and extends beyond the literal meanings of words and sentences. This paper examined the pragmatic competence of elementary school children who spoke Persian as their native language. It investigated three types of speech acts (Thanking, Requesting, and Apologizing) represented in young children’s performance (N=10) by answering to a discourse completion test (DCT) questionnaire. Qualitative analysis of the data shows that children like adults use different strategies of politeness in the form of both Face Enhancing Act (FEA) and Face Threatening Act (FTA).Positive direction strategies were adopted in the FEAs for thanking and apologizing, whilst negative direction strategies were embraced in FTAs for requesting. It was also shown that in some instances, children’s linguistic and pragmatic ability is immature. It was concluded that Persian young children like adults follow universal rules regarding the acquisition of pragmatic features, irrespective of the cultural or environmental contexts in which they embark on pragmatic rules. Implications of the study are also presented.

Keywords: Face enhancing act, Face threatening act, Pragmatic competence, Politeness, Speech acts

Ali Darabi Bazvand, Alireza Khoram. Pragmatic Competence of Young Children: A Case Study of Thanking, Requesting, and Apologizing. ALRJournal. 2019; 3(5): 76-86

Corresponding Author: Alireza Khoram, Iran
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