Refusal Expressions in Asian Languages: A Comparison of Semantic Formulas Occurrence

By Candy.

Published by The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: June 19, 2017 $US5.00

This study dealt with refusal expressions of six languages in Asia: Japanese, Indonesian, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino, and Chinese. The purpose of this study is to examine whether there is a relationship between the occurring order of semantic formulas (SFs) and the language structure. A SF is an analyzing unit for speech acts such as refusal or apology that allows us to compare these expressions between languages. In the refusal expressions there are elements such as “reason,” “apology,” “suggestion,” and “refusal.” The result of correspondence analysis showed that head-initial languages have a strong tendency to use “refusal” before another SF. It also showed that head-final languages have a tendency to use “refusal” at the end of the expression. The analyses of variance (ANOVA) were also conducted toward the level of closeness of each language data. The results of the ANOVA showed that the respondents also change their way of refusing depending on their closeness to the requester.

Keywords: Refusal Expression, Semantic Formula, Asian Language, Occurring Order, Level of Closeness, Head-Final/Initial Language

The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, Volume 15, Issue 2, June 2017, pp.21-35. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: June 19, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 773.556KB)).


PhD Student, Graduate School of Culture and Information Science, Doshisha University, Kyoto, Japan