The speech act realisation of requests and greetings by non-native and native speakers of siSwati : communication challenges faced by American Peace Corps Volunteers in their interaction with Swazi people

Sithebe, Faith Bonsile (2011-12)

Thesis (MPhil )--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigates the differences in the communication styles of siSwati and American English speakers. Specifically, it investigates the realization patterns of the speech acts of request and greeting in siSwati, by native and non-native speakers of siSwati. It also investigates how these same speech acts are realised by the non-native speakers of siSwati in their first language, English. The participants were 10 Swazis and 10 American Peace Corps volunteers living in Swaziland, Southern Africa at the time this study was conducted. The data were collected by means of a questionnaire followed up with a semi-structured interview. The data were analysed using the framework of the Cross-cultural Speech Act Realization Project as developed by Blum- Kulka (1989). Common trends were noted in the realization of the two speech acts by native speakers and non-native speakers and conclusions were made based on the similarities and differences observed. Overall, the results suggest (i) that there are marked differences in the way in which American English speakers and Swazi people perform and interpret greetings and requests, and (ii) that such differences emanate from the different cultural orientation of the two groups of people. Since such differences sometimes lead to misunderstandings, there is evident need to make people aware of cultural differences in order for understanding and tolerance to prevail in cross-cultural interactions.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie ondersoek die verskille in die kommunikasiestyle van sprekers van siSwati en Amerikaanse Engels. Dit beskou spesifiek die realiseringspatrone van die taalhandelinge versoek en groet in siSwati, deur moedertaal- en nie-moedertaalsprekers van siSwati, en in Engels. Die deelnemers was 10 Swazis en 10 Amerikaanse Vredekorps-vrywilligers woonagtig in Swaziland, Suid-Afrika, ten tye van die studie. Die data is ingesamel deur middel van 'n vraelys wat opgevolg is deur 'n semi-gestruktureerde onderhoud. Die data is geanaliseervolgens die raamwerk van die Kruiskulturele Spraakhandeling-realiseringsprojek, soos voorgestel deur Blum-Kulka (1989). Algemene tendense is opgemerk in die realisering van die twee spraakhandelinge deur moedertaalsprekers en nie-moedertaalsprekers en afleidings is gemaak op grond van die waargenome verskille en ooreenkomste. Oor die algemeen dui die resultate op (i) duidelike verskille tussen die wyses waarop sprekers van Amerikaanse Engels en Swazis versoeke en groethandelinge uitvoer en interpreteer, en (ii) die verskillende kulturele oriënterings van die twee groepe as oorsprong van hierdie tipe verskille. Aangesien laasgenoemde dikwels aanleiding gee tot misverstand, is dit duidelik noodsaaklik dat mense bewus gemaak word van kulturele verskille ten einde begrip en verdraagsaamheid te laat hoogty vier tydens kruiskulturele interaksie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17874
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