Refusals in Javanese and English A comparative study of saying ‘no’ in two different cultures

Agus Wijayanto (1)
(1) English Education Department, Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta., Indonesia


Refusing is a common speech act; nonetheless people from different cultural backgrounds employ different refusal strategies. The present study compares refusal strategies used between native speakers of Javanese in Indonesia and native speakers of British English in the United Kingdom. Empirical data were elicited by means of discourse completion tasks. The findings showed that Javanese and British native speakers favoured indirect refusal strategies and used approximately similar sequential orders of refusals, although the types of semantic formulas and adjuncts involved were different. Awareness of different social status levels tended to induce different frequencies of the use of semantic formulas and adjuncts of refusals whereas different initiating acts of refusals generated different use of the types of semantic formulas and adjuncts.

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Agus Wijayanto (Primary Contact)
Author Biography

Agus Wijayanto, English Education Department, Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta.

Agus Wijayanto is a lecturer and researcher at the Department of English Education, Universitas Muhammadiyah Surakarta, Indonesia. He researches on interlanguage pragmatics, cross cultural pragmatics, and teaching English as a foreign language.

Wijayanto, A. (2019). Refusals in Javanese and English A comparative study of saying ‘no’ in two different cultures. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 19(2), 1–22.

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