A pragmatic analysis of requests and refusals as produced in Spanish and English: a case study of bilingual children

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Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla
"Spanish - English native speakers have their own rules of conversation and interaction. Their culture dramatically influences the way people establish a conversation and how people make requests and refusals. Requests and refusals are complex, face-threatening speech acts, which are commonly present in communicative interactions. These types of speech acts frequently occur in the family context and require high-level, sophisticated politeness strategies when used by bilingual children. The purpose of this study is two-fold: firstly, to describe the most salient characteristics of how bilingual children make refusals and requests in English and Spanish. Secondly, to investigate whether their speech acts were appropriate in both languages. This case study investigation analysed 463 speech acts, 220 requests and 243 refusals, of two Mexican-British children aged 10 and 12, who have been raised as bilinguals at home. The data was gathered in the family domain through two situational instruments for English and Spanish".
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