ERIC Number: EJ828567
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Mar
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 31
Exponents of Politeness in Brunei English
Ho, Debbie G. E.
World Englishes, v28 n1 p35-51 Mar 2009
This paper is based on the premise that not much is known about how English modal verbs are used to express politeness in Non-Native English speaking (NNEs) contexts. It explores the use of the past and non-past forms of the request modals "will" and "can" in Brunei, a NNEs country located in Southeast Asia. Specifically, it examines the use of these modals in the Request for Corrective Action (RCA) move in personal complaints written to the local English-language newspaper by local Bruneian speakers of English. In addition, reasons for a particular usage are extrapolated from those elicited from a questionnaire carried out among local university students. This paper provides an exploratory study of modal verb use from a pragmatics perspective, with the purpose of investigating the extent to which the request modal verbs "will/would" and "can/could" express the attitudes of the complainant when it comes to requesting corrective action in complaints of a personal nature. The findings yielded a number of surprising observations that highlight the different ways in which these English request modal verbs are perceived and used in a NNEs context.
Descriptors: Verbs, Compliance (Legal), Foreign Countries, Pragmatics, English (Second Language), Second Language Learning, Language Variation, Grammar, Newspapers, Written Language, Language Usage, College Students, Questionnaires
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Brunei