MEDICAL AND LAW STU
DENTS’ REQUEST ACTS
STRATEGIES: A PRAGMATIC STUDY
Presented as a Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain the Magister Humaniora (M. Hum) Degree
in English Language Studies
Ni Nyoman Wartinah Student Number: 156332020
THE GRADUATE PROGRAM IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY
AND LAW STUDENTS’ REQUEST ACTS
STRATEGIES: A PRAGMATIC STUDY
Presented as a Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements to Obtain the Magister Humaniora (M. Hum) Degree
in English Language Studies
Ni Nyoman Wartinah Student Number: 156332020
THE GRADUATE PROGRAM IN ENGLISH LANGUAGE STUDIES SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY
MEDICAL AND LAW STUDENTS’ REQUEST ACTS
STRATEGIES: A PRAGMATIC STUDY
Ni Nyoman Wartinah Student Number: 156332020
Dr. B.B. Dwijatmoko, M. A.
STATEMENT OF WORK’S ORIGINALITY
This is to certify that all ideas, phrases, sentences, unless otherwise stated, are the ideas, phrases, and sentences of the thesis writer. The writer understands the full
consequences including degree cancellation if she took somebody else’s ideas,
phrases, sentences without proper references.
Yogyakarta, 6 February 2017
LEMBAR PERNYATAAN PERSETUJUAN
PUBLIKASI KARYA ILMIAH UNTUK KEPENTINGAN AKADEMIS
Yang bertanda tangan di bawah ini, saya mahasiswa Universitas Sanata Dharma: Nama : Ni Nyoman Wartinah
NIM : 156332020
Demi pengembangan ilmu pengetahuan, saya memberikan kepada Perpustakaan Universitas Sanata Dharma karya ilmiah saya yang berjudul:
MEDICAL AND LAW STUDENTS’ REQUEST ACTS STRATEGIES: A PRAGMATIC STUDY
Beserta perangkat yang diperlukan (bila ada). Dengan demikian, saya memberikan kepada Perpustakaan Universitas Sanata Dharma hak untuk menyimpan, mengalihkan dalam bentuk media lain, mengelolanya dalam bentuk pangkalan data, mendistribusikannya di internet atau media lain untuk kepentingan akademis tanpa perlu meminta ijin maupun memberikan royalty kepada saya selama tetap mencantumkan nama saya sebagai penulis.
Demikian pernyataan ini saya buat dengan sebenarnya.
Dibuat di Yogyakarta
Pada tanggal: 6 Februari 2017
Astungkara, all praises presented to Ida Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa for leading
me through the ups and downs during the process so that I can complete this thesis. In this proudest moment, I also would like to express my deepest gratitude to all of those who have supported and facilitated me accomplishing my thesis.
I present my humble gratitude to my advisor Dr. B.B. Dwijatmoko, M.A. for his guidance and patience. He has been a resourceful person to share ideas and whose suggestions contributed a lot to the improvement of my thesis. I also greatly appreciate my reviewers Dr. Fr. B. Alip, M.Pd., M.A., Dr. E. Sunarto, M.Hum., and F. X. Mukarto, Ph.D for the useful input and suggestions which enriched my thesis writing. My deepest gratitude and appreciation are also devoted to all lecturers in English Language Studies of Sanata Dharma University for being such inspiring figures in my life. Countless appreciation is also dedicated to rector of Batam University, Prof. Dr. Ir. H. Novirman Jamarun, M.Sc. and head of Uniba Language Centre of Batam University, Wahyu Dani P, M.Pd. for the consent and encouragement to me to pursue my master degree.
many thanks are respectively addressed to my terrific friends whom I cannot mention one by one. May God always bless you all abundantly. Swaha.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE ... i
APPROVAL PAGE ... ii
DEFENSE APPROVAL PAGE ... iii
STATEMENT OF WORK’S ORIGINALITY ... iv
LEMBAR PERNYATAAN PERSETUJUAN PUBLIKASI ... v
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ... vi
TABLE OF CONTENTS ... viii
LIST OF TABLES ... xii
LIST OF FIGURES ... xiii
LIST OF APPENDICES ... xiiv
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ... xv
ABSTRACT ... xviii
ABSTRAK ... xx
CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION ... 1
A. RESEARCH BACKGROUND ... 1
B. RESEARCH QUESTIONS ... 10
C. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES ... 10
D. RESEARCH BENEFITS ... 11
CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW ... 13
A. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE ... 13
1. Pragmatic Study ... 13
2. Pragmatic Competence as Communicative Competence ... 16
3. Interlanguage Pragmatics (ILP) ... 19
4. English for Medicine and Law ... 21
a. English for Medicine ... 21
5. Speech Acts ... 26
a. Speech Acts Definition ... 26
b. Speech Acts Typologies ... 28
6. Politeness ... 32
7. Request and Request Strategies ... 34
a. Request Definition... 34
b. Request Strategies ... 36
1) Openers ... 37
2) Head Acts (main request acts) ... 37
3) Internal Modifications ... 38
a) Lexical Modifications ... 38
b) Syntactic Downgraders ... 39
4) External Modifications (supportive moves) ... 40
B. REVIEW OF RELATED STUDIES ... 41
C. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK ... 45
CHAPTER III RESEARCH METHODOLOGY ... 50
A. TYPE OF STUDY ... 50
B. DATA COLLECTION ... 52
1. Type of Data ... 52
2. Source of Data ... 52
3. Instrument of Data ... 55
4. Number of Data ... 62
5. The Selection of Data ... 62
C. DATA ANALYSIS ... 63
1. First step ... 64
a. Openers ... 64
b. Head acts... 64
c. Internal modifications ... 65
d. External modifications ... 66
3. Third step ... 68
4. Fourth step ... 71
D. RESULT VERIFICATION... 73
E. RESULT INTERPRETATION ... 74
CHAPTER IV FINDINGS AND DISCUSSIONS ... 77
A. FINDINGS ... 77
B. DISCUSSIONS ... 82
1. Request Patterns Produced by Medical and Law Students ... 83
a. Medical Students Request Pattern ... 84
1) Openers ... 84
2) Head Acts ... 86
3) Internal Modifications ... 93
4) External Modifications ... 99
b. Law Students Request Pattern ... 108
1) Openers ... 108
2) Head Acts ... 110
3) Internal Modifications ... 113
4) External Modifications ... 117
2. Comparison of Medical and Law Students’ Request Strategies ... 123
3. Factors Underlying the Choice of the Strategies ... 147
a. Sociological Variables and Politeness ... 147
b. Situation Setting ... 153
c. Pragmatic Competence ... 156
d. Request Size ... 159
e. Reciprocal Asymmetry ... 161
f. Urgency of Requests ... 163
g. Motivation ... 165
CHAPTER V CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION ... 170
B. SUGGESTION ... 176
BIBLIOGRAPHY ... 179
APPENDICES ... 187
APPENDIX 1 ... 188
APPENDIX 2 ... 191
APPENDIX 3 ... 216
APPENDIX 4 ... 378
APPENDIX 5 ... 412
APPENDIX 6 ... 442
APPENDIX 7 ... 443
APPENDIX 8 ... 445
APPENDIX 9 ... 454
APPENDIX 10 ... 463
LIST OF TABLES
Table 1. Openers in Requests ... 37
Table 2. Head Acts in Requests... 37
Table 3. Lexical Modifications in Requests ... 39
Table 4. Syntactical Modifications in Requests ... 39
Table 5. External Modifications in Requests ... 40
Table 6. Result of DCT’s Validity and Reliability ... 58
Table 7. Discourse Completion Tasks Situational Contexts ... 61
Table 8. Data Selection Based on Situational Contexts of Medicine and Law Group ... 63
Table 9. Coding of Openers in Requests ... 64
Table 10. Coding of Head Acts in Requests ... 65
Table 11. Coding of Lexical Modifications in Requests ... 66
Table 12. Coding of Syntactical Modifications in Requests ... 66
Table 13. Coding of External Modifications in Requests ... 67
Table 14. Sample of Data Analysis of Each Response ... 68
Table 15. Request Acts Strategies Pattern of Medicine Group ... 69
Table 16. Request Acts Strategies Pattern of Law Group ... 70
Table 17. Data Analysis Result of Request Acts Strategies Pattern of Medicine Group ... 71
Table 18. Data Analysis Result of Request Acts Strategies Pattern of Law Group ... 72
Table 19. Summary of Data Analysis of Request Acts Strategies Pattern of Medicine and Law Group ... 78
Table 20. Result of Data Validity Test ... 79
Table 21. Result of Normality Test ... 79
Table 22. Result of Homogeneity Test ... 80
Table 23. Result of T-test of Medicine and Law Group ... 81
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Pragmatic Competence as the Development of EFL Learners ... 18 Figure 2. The Researcher’s Theoretical Framework ... 49 Figure 3. Sample of DCT illustration with a Cartoon Picture
LIST OF APPENDICES
APPENDIX 1 Discourse Completion Tasks (DCTs) Form ... 188
APPENDIX 2 Data Selection Based on Situational Contexts of Medical and Law Group ... 191
APPENDIX 3 Data Analysis of Each Response ... 216
APPENDIX 4 Request Acts Strategies Pattern of Medical Group ... 378
APPENDIX 5 Request Acts Strategies Pattern of Medical Group ... 412
APPENDIX 6 Data Input for Cronbach’s Alpha Test ... 442
APPENDIX 7 Data Input for T-test Procedure ... 443
APPENDIX 8 Responses of DCTs by Medical Students ... 445
APPENDIX 9 Responses ofDCTs by Law Students ... 454
APPENDIX 10 Learning Contract of Medical Students ... 463
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS
Apol : Apology Appl : Appealer
Askop : Ask the hearer’s opinion Beg : Begging for help
CIHA : Conventionally indirect head acts Comm : Commitment indicator
Cond : Conditional
Conf : Confirmation of request Cost : Cost minimizer
D : Distance
DCT : Discourse Completion Task Delm : Delimiter
DEM : Downgrading external modifications DHA : Direct head acts
Disa : Disarmer
DL : Data of Law students DM : Data of Medical students Down : Downtoner
Dwngr : Downgrading function EL : English for Law EM : External modifications ES : English students
ESP : English for Spesific Purposes EUM : Upgrading external modifications F : Formal
HA : Head acts Hedg : Hedge
Hesm : Hesitation marker Hon : Honorific
Humb : Humbling oneself I : Informal
ILP : Interlanguage Pragmatics IM : Internal modifications Intrd : Self–introduction Intrg : Interogative Joke : Joking
L2 : Second language LD : Lexical downgraders LU : Lexical upgraders ME : Medical English Mhin : Mild hints
Mood : Mood derivable (imperative) Moral : Moralizing
NES : Non-English students Neutr : Neutral
NIHA : Non-conventionally indirect head acts Oblig : Obligation statements
OP : Openers Ord : Order
P : Power
Perf : Performatives Polm : Politeness markers Prep : Preparator
Prom : Promise of reward Prs : Persuade
R : Rank of imposition Redp : Reduplication of verb Repr : Reprimanding
Rept : Repetition
SD : Syntactic downgraders Shin : Strong hints
Sig. : Significant Subj : Subjectivizer Sugg : Suggestory formula Sweet : Sweetener
Time : Time intensifier Unds : Understater
Ni Nyoman Wartinah. 2017. Medical and Law Students’ Request Acts Strategies: A Pragmatic Study. Yogyakarta: Graduate Program in English Language Studies, Sanata Dharma University
Pragmatic study has always become a key study to investigate the issue on language in use since it satisfies the idea that whenever people speak, they do not merely deliver meaning to the addressee, yet at the same time, perform actions through statements they utter. Thus, using pragmatic study, in this thesis the researcher attempts to closely examine potential use of speech acts that are often manipulated by the speakers particularly in making requests. Further, speaker often utilize various strategies in request as a mean to diminish the force and to increase the possibility of it to be accepted and done by the hearer because request can be threatening and burdensome at some extents.
However, since most similar researches put their concern on studying the use of request acts by the students majoring in English, hence, the researcher feels the need to put forward the challenge to have non-English students from different fields of study under investigation which comprise Medical and Law students. This thesis aims to reveal three problems proposed in this study, namely: (1) What patterns do the request acts of Medical and Law students have?, (2) Do different fields of study contribute to the opting of different strategies employed in making requests?, and (3) What factors underlie the choice of the strategies in making requests?.
To deal with these three problems, the researcher employs mixed-methods of qualitative supported by t-test quantitative. Before conducting the t-test, the researcher does pre-requisite tests of normality and homogeneity as well as data input validity. As data instrument, the Discourse Completion Tasks (DCTs) are used to elicit data by providing nine different situational contexts supported by a cartoon picture as the illustration for pictorial context. Before distributed to Medical
and Law students as the research’ subjects, the researcher has confirmed that DCTs meet face, content, and construct validity as well as inter-rater reliability. The data are further classified based on four request sequence of openers, head acts, internal and external modifications based on which group they belong to. The t-test operation ensues sig.(2-tailed) of less than 0.05 which indicates that there is significant different of request strategies employed by the two groups.
modifications employed in making requests, such as: sociological variables and politeness, situational setting, pragmatic competence, request size, reciprocal asymmetry, urgency of requests, and motivations of the speakers.
Ni Nyoman Wartinah. 2017. Medical and Law Students’ Request Acts Strategies: A Pragmatic Study. Yogyakarta: Program Magister Kajian Bahasa Inggris, Universitas Sanata Dharma.
Studi pragmatik selalu menjadi acuan utama untuk mengkaji bagaimana suatu bahasa dipakai dalam berinteraksi berlandaskan ide bahwa ketika seorang penutur berbicara, mereka tidak hanya menyampaikan pesan atau informasi, melainkan melakukan tindakan atau aksi melalui ujaran yang diutarakannya dalam satu waktu. Oleh karenanya, dengan menggunakan kajian studi pragmatik, dalam tesis ini penulis mencoba untuk mengkaji secara lebih dekat dan mendalam tentang penggunaan tindak tutur (speech acts) yang sering kali dimanipulasi oleh penuturnya tertutama dalam meminta (requests) seseorang untuk melakukan sesuatu. Dalam usaha untuk meniminalisir paksaan dan meningkatkan kemungkinan agar request diterima, seorang penutur cenderung mengaplikasikan strategi yang beragam mengingat requests bisa saja mengancam dan juga membebani si pendengar.
Kebanyakan studi sebelumnya dilakukan oleh para ahli linguistik memfokuskan studi mereka dalam meneliti penggunaan requests oleh peserta didik jurusan Bahasa Inggris, oleh karena itu, penulis tertantang untuk mengkaji peserta didik jurusan non Bahasa Inggris khususnya pada area studi yang berbeda yaitu jurusan Kedokteran dan Hukum. Adapun tesis ini bertujuan untuk menjawab tiga permasalahan, yakni: (1) Pola apa sajakah yang ditemukan dalam penggunaan tindak tutur oleh mahasiswa Kedokteran dan Hukum dalam requests?, (2) Apakah perbedaan kajian studi berpengaruh terhadap pemilihan strategi requests yang berbeda? , dan (3) Faktor-faktor apa sajakah yang mendasarinya?.
Guna mengungkap ketiga masalah diatas, peneliti memakai metode gabungan kualitatif didukung oleh pendekatan kuantitatif t-test. Namun sebelum prosedur t-test dijalankan, penulis mengadakan tes wajib sebagai prasyarat melakukan t-test, diantaranya adalah tes normalitas, homogenitas, dan validitas data yang dipakai. Sebagai instrument pengumpulan data, penulis menggunakan Discourse Completion Tasks (DCTs) dengan sembilan konteks situasi berbeda yang didukung ilustrasi kartun/animasi. Terlebih dulu penulis telah memastikan bahwa DCT telah memenuhi face, content dan construct validitas beserta inter-rater reliabilitas. Kemudian data yang diperoleh dari DCT diklasifikasikan ke dalam empat rangkaian requests yakni openers sebagai pembuka, head acts atau tindak tutur utama request, modifikasi internal dan eksternal berdasarkan masing-masing grup. Hasil operasi t-test pada akhirnya menunjukkan adanya perbedaan yang signifikan diantara kedua grup dalam pemakaian strategi requests yang dibuktikan dengan koefisien sig.(2-tailed) lebih kecil dari 0,05.
meskipun hasil menyatakan bahwa kedua grup menggunakan keempat strategi requests diatas, beberapa perbedaan justru nampak jelas. Salah satu poin yang menonjol adalah bahwa mahasiswa Kedokteran memanfaatkan lebih banyak modifikasi eksternal dan hints sebagai strategi konvensional yang tidak langsung. Sementara itu, mahasiswa Hukum cenderung lebih lugas dalam menyampaikan permintaan mereka khususnya dengan memakai lebih banyak modifikasi internal dan want statements. Dan, ketiga, penulis mendapati bahwa ada tujuh faktor potensial yang mempengaruhi perbedaan penggunaan strategi dan modifikasi requests, diantaranya: variabel sosiologi dan tingkat kesopanan, latar belakang situasi dan tempat, kompetensi pragmatik, ukuran permintaan, reciprocal asymmetry, tingkat urgensi, dan juga motivasi penutur.
This chapter begins by introducing the topic of research and nature of the objects being investigated. Besides, formulation of the problems as well as the objectives and the benefits of this study, which attempt to clarify what promted the researcher to conduct study on request acts, are also discussed.
A. RESEARCH BACKGROUND
The study on speech acts is always interesting and worth discussing realizing that whenever interact with others, people do not just simply make statements. By selecting particular linguistic units, it is often that speaker carries out actions at once. Austin has exclusively taken a role in proposing the idea that utterances uttered by the speakers are satisfying two conditions. Austin (1962:5) implies:
They (utterances) do not ‘describe’ or ‘report’ or constate anything
at all, are not ‘true or false’; and the uttering of the sentence is, or is a part of, the doing of an action, which again would not normally be described as saying something.
of the utterance is performing of an action, hence, it is not normally thought as just saying something.
Further, if we explore from pragmatic study perspective, sometimes what the speakers say can potentially mean something else or more. Theoretically, pragmatics deals with language in use (Cutting, 2002). It is noted that once people use language, they have intention to share meanings. Therefore, pragmatics is also often termed as “meaning in use or meaning in context, or, identically, meaning in interaction” (Thomas, 2013). Respectively, meanings can be varied depend on speaker’s intention and interpreter’s or hearer’s interpretation. At the same time, speakers do not always explicitly express what they mean. A simple example offered for common Indonesian case is when an Indonesian speaker says: “Have
you any ciggarette?”. This utterance can be an indirect form of expression which asking for an action to give or to share the ciggarette that the hearer has.
However, a successful communication depends on pragmatic competence of the participants which contributes to the pragmatic production of speech acts used in speaking. According to Wang (2011),
Investigating the pragmatic competence of students’ throught their productions and choice of requests is an assesment of their ability to use them as a social tool to promote or aggravate relationships.
relationship between language users and the context in which the communication takes place”. Therefore, the pragmatic competence is important to make request works as it was intended. And to summarize, Jones and Halenko (2014:37) denote that making a succesful request is sensitive to linguistic units and organizational pattern required by certain context in different situation.
Furthermore, it is often that people misunderstand and misinterpret interlocutor’s meaning which leads to pragmatic failure directed by the most possible reason which is lack of pragmatic competence, particularly for non-native speakers. Essentially, acquiring high pragmatic competence of language learners influences their successful communication goals. According to Fraser (2010:15),
Pragmatic competence is the ability to communicate your intended message with all its nuances in any socio-cultural context and to interpret the message of your interlocutor as it was intended. … second language speaker who has lack of pragmatic competence may produce grammatically flawless speech that nonetheless fails to achieve its communication aims.
In the same line, a pragmatic competence also enables “theoretical direction for the measurement of the interlanguage pragmatics” (Yamashita, 2008:202).
According to Zhu (2012:218), “L2 pragmatic competence has often focused on the
Commonly, request deals with an action to ask someone to do or not to do something, or to express need or demand for something. Leech (2014:134) states
“of all the utterances types sensitive to politeness, requests are arguably of the most
abiding interest and have been most studied, particularly with reference to the
English language”. Basically, request speech acts or preferred as request acts are
examined from the perspective of the “Face-Treatening Acts” (FTA). Brown & Levinson, 1987 mention that “the FTA sets the speakers to employ strategies and modification to diminish the level of force which sometimes threatens the
addressee’s face, and at the same time burdens to some extent”. Hence, in order to achieve the goals or to make request accepted and done by the hearer, the requester realizes to select form of obligatory choices as well as level of the directness of speech acts. For instance, as the sample above, the requester uses less direct speech acts to ask for cigarette where he employs a question by stating have followed by a question mark, rather than a direct form of request like can or may. For that reason, in most cases that we may experience, the researcher encapsulates that the intention of requesters making requests is to make the request is accepted and done by the hearer by using sort kind of strategy and modification. Moreover, speakers also often insert other linguistic units of openers like “excuse me” or “sorry” in the beginning or other lexical choices to make it sounds less frightening as well as
“thank you” at the end of the utterance as the expression of gratitude which can potentially create a more positive feeling in the hearer.
assessment of some situational factors such as social distance, power, rank, type of interaction, and type of speech acts”. Thus, through certain contextual settings, people are driven to adjust their choice of request acts. Many linguists had great intention in conducting study on English language learners, particularly on their L1 acquisition and their pragmatic competence in applying what they have learned. After looking and taking a close reading on many pragmatic studies have been headed previously, the researcher found that mostly all of them took English students as their objects of research. Therefore, it is motivating for the researcher to have non-English major students to be investigated in this study.
human resources needs to be applied in the education of Indonesia. Therefore, assessing students’ soft skills, specifically mastering English well, is one of the concerns of the researcher to do this research.
Moreover, situated in the strategic location of the golden triangle ‘Central Business District’ which connects Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, and other ASEAN countries, Batam is a Free Trade Zone (FTZ) authority of Indonesia. As signified by United Nations Economics and Social Commission (2005), “a Free Trade Zone is the established area based on the special value-adding zones with high expectations of the economic benefits that these zones would bring”. Thus, regarding its exclusive authority value, Batam benefited a chance to be the electrical and electronics industries, as well as oil and gas supporting industries, transshipments, tourisms, and particularly, trading zone across ASEAN countries. This establishment of special authority area helps the graduated students of Batam to compete not only domestically, but also in the global contexts.
study. To note, Uniba students do not allowed to join ESP if they are considered not capable enough in terms of General English. Thus, students who take ESP have confirmed to have good English proficiency, follow the ULC’s grand design, they place the intermediate level.
In this thesis, the researcher focuses the study on the two most attended faculties in Batam University, Medicine and Law Faculty, agreeing that these two faculties are potentially representative sample for the overall population of students. Therefore, correspond to the same syllabus as well as English competence acquired by both Medical and Law students, the researcher whom is also the lecturer of them concluded that they possessed the same English profieciency which positioned the intermediate level and categorized as able to join the ESP class which in fact required higher level of English proficiency.
an effort to find different findings of the speech acts realizations as well as to enhance the pragmatic study on speech acts which has never been touched before by other pragmatic researchers.
To be referred, the previous study done by Zhu (2012) on the comparison of English students and non-English students in using of request acts suggested that non-English students’ (NES) have lower proficiency in L2 than the English students (ES) and it contributes to their lower pragmatic competence. It is found that NES used more direct strategies than the ES. On the other hand, “NES also applied limited syntactic and lexical mitigation devices for enhancing politeness than the ES did” (230). As the other speech acts research on requests, conversely, Lee (2004:58-72) who investigated request strategies employed by Chinese leaners of English in emails found that when the students have to write an email to their teachers, they tended to manipulate direct request strategies and requestive hints, moreover, it is indicated that “there is a strong cultural focus on hierarchical relationships and respects by the students toward their teachers”. This result agrees Hymes (1972) and Halliday (1973) who manage that “making meaning through language cannot be separated from social interaction and culture”. On the other hand, dealing with the notion of power and request size, Dittrich et al. (2011:3809) uncovered that “to make a request more indirect and polite, the usage of formal titles when addressing the listener is to emphasize the social distance and seem to
be more polite in an indirect manner”.
these issues are also frequently embedded in working arenas. It might be vary the strategies and modifications used by people from different fields’ background to make requests for different addressee concerning their position and status. For instance, doctor and lawyer possibly apply different modifications to explore their purpose when it deals with various demands based on their specific zone. Moreover, doctors have to be accustomed to hospital life and patients in order to gather
accurate information about patients’ records to take appropriate treatment for them.
Equally, in dealing with court life, it is likely for lawyers to face the suspected and victim to further ask for the information and clarification from others witnesses for cases they cope with. Potentially, these two distinctive background of fields study lead to a specific language use which corresponds to their specific fields, where it hypothectically contributes to different selection of the request patterns and strategies used for a fruitful communication.
modifications through Discourse Completion Tasks (DCTs) instrument on different situational contexts.
B. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
Regarding the issue that non-English students possibly produce distinctive expression of speech acts as the strategies in making requests, thus, the researcher formulates three research questions as listed below.
1. What patterns do the request acts of Medical and Law students have?
2. Do different fields of study contribute to the opting of different strategies employed by Medical and Law students in making requests?
3. What factors underlie the choice of the strategies employed by Medical and Law students in making requests?
C. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
Having put forward that pragmatics of EFL students from non-English major has been under-investigated, and regarding that few studies conducted in this topic, the aim of this research is to assess non-English major students pragmatic competence in producing and using English spesifically in requesting at distinctive study fields, moreover, since making request is an inevitable frequent routine, in which, at the same time, could be face-threatening in certain situations. This research focuses on speech acts of requests which were selected according to the
contexts as the specific acts through which the students’ pragmatic competence is
The researcher classifies objectives of this study into two specific points, namely: to investigate the requests pattern in certain situational contexts, besides, to investigate whether non-English students use modifications and strategies differently in making requests. The reason of exploring the patterns of request done by Medical and Law students is to examine whether the diverse fields of study affect the selection of strategies and modifications when dealing with requesting in English language. Likewise, non-English major students may acquire different ability to manage requests, in fact, they do not frequently use English in daily interactions. For this reason, the researcher emphasizes on finding requests acts used by Medical and Law students contrastively depend on the situations and pragmatic competence of the students as well as factors motivate the students to select sort of strategies and modifications.
D. RESEARCH BENEFITS
situations may encourage them to employ different pattern of strategies and modifications in producing requests.
Practically, from the researcher point of view, this research benefits herself in measuring the pragmatic competence of the students in Batam University. Here,
students’ pragmatic competence deals with their language learning acquisition, and
at the same time, it helps the researcher in adjusting and designing the materials for
future teaching to improve students’ ability in English. On the other hand, for the
students’ importance, the interdependence of grammatical units, pragmatic knowledge and pragmatic competence of the students affect their pragmatic production of speech acts and in using English for real interactions. Thus, this research can be a good start to prepare Batam University students to be able to compete globally. Further, it supports the students as future doctors and lawyers in terms of how to make a proper request in English for different situations they might face in the future working life.
CHAPTER II LITERATURE REVIEW
Before proceeding to the problems discussed in chapter one, the researcher does literature reviews which highlighted in this second part of chapter. Taking into account that the analysis of utterances regards to language in use research, this chapter reviews the most relevant theories and related studies to solve the problems as well as to avoid bias or the limitations of the analysis.
A. REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
This section of the literature review elaborates the most relevant theories which provision to the study on request acts strategies done by non-English learners. Some theories benefited in this research are theory on pragmatic study, pragmatic competence of the users as the communicative competence which deals with interlanguage pragmatics. To dismantle the problems stated in chapter one, here the researcher also refers to theory English for medicine and law, speech acts definition and typologies, as well as concept of requests and its strategies along with politeness theory since request has always been concerned to politeness on the other hand.
1. Pragmatic Study
producers” (Mey, 2001:5). Generally, the term pragmatics is often used in linguistic research to refer to the “study of the interpretation meaning”(O’keeffe, Clancy & Adolphs, 2011:1). As Thomas (2013:2) observes that when we talk about pragmatics, we tend to focus on two camps: speaker’s meaning and utterances’ interpreter.
However, on the other hand, a more iconic paradigm about pragmatics
suggested by Allan and Jaszczolt (2012:4) that through a pragmatic study “a speaker
can say something without meaning it or she/he can mean something without saying it, by merely implicating or impliciting it”. In this boundary, pragmatic study allows
us to notice that speaker’s meaning is dependent on the assumption of knowledge that are shared by both speaker and hearer (Cutting, 2002:2). In other words, it is implied that speaker constructs linguistic message and intends a meaning, and in turns, hearer interprets the message and finally infers the meaning from what the speaker says.
Concerning the implied meaning, Thomas (2013:3) comes to an idea that to understand the meaning, we can begin to understand the differences between the levels of meaning. He classifies three levels of meanings: the first level is abstract meaning; the second meaning moves from the abstract meaning to contextual
meaning or also called as utterance meaning by assigning sense and/or reference to
a word, phrase or sentence; and the third level of meaning is force or the meaning
which is reached when we consider the speaker’s intention through the force effect
of the utterance.
Pragmatic includes pattern of linguistic actions, language functions, type of inferences, principles of communication, frame of knowledge, attitude and belief… Pragmatics deals with meaning-in-context, which for analytical purposes can be viewed from different
perspectives (that of the speaker, the recipient, the analyst, etc.). ……
The focal point of pragmatics is linguistic action (and inter-action).
What pragmatics tries to highlight is how the language is used by people in everyday life interaction. Whenever the speaker speaks, she/he will choose her/his language variation and adjusts the language based on contexts in different ways to deliver their intentions. Therefore, it can be underlined that language is not only simply to deliver information from the speaker to the hearer or interpreter, but also as the mode which motivates the hearer to do something based on the speaker point.
2. Pragmatic Competence as a Communicative Competence
Choosing and deciding certain language in conveying meaning to the interpreter require a basic skill known as pragmatic competence. It is true that there is no correct or wrong way to use language, however, people can certainly define and adjust whether they appropriately use such language in different circumstances. Particularly, when individuals make a choice to use sort kind of speech acts, they employ a pragmatic knowledge called as pragmatic competence. Pragmatic competence is simply defined by Taguchi (2009) as “the ability to use language appropriately in a social context”. In a more complete explanation, Barron (2003) implies:
Pragmatic competence is understood as the knowledge of the linguistic resources available in a given language for realizing particular illocutions, knowledge of the sequential aspects of speech acts, and finally knowledge of the appropriate contextual use of the particular language’s linguistic resources.
Moreover, pragmatic competence is considered as a key ability in communicative competence in order to create a successful communication between the speaker and hearer.
possibility of making choices based on flexible strategies; (c) Adaptability: the ability to modulate and regulate communicative choices in relation to communicative context; (d) Salience: the degree of awareness reached by communicative choices; (e) Indeterminacy: the possibility to re-negotiate the pragmatic choices as the interaction unfolds in order to fulfill communicative intentions; and (f) Dynamicity: development of the communicative interaction in time.
On the other hand, Chomsky in Cook and Newson (2014) sees term of pragmatic competence as the “knowledge of how language is related to the situation in which it is used”. He further explains that pragmatic competence places language in the institutional setting of its use, relating the intentions and purposes to the linguistic means at hand”. Stay in line with pragmatic study, Cook and Newson further explain that pragmatic competence also points not only knowing the structure is matter, but also to know how to use it based on different purposes for communicating or functions, relative status between the speaker and addressee, topic area in which participants are communicating (e.g. general or informal case, business or formal, computing, medicine, etc.), and situations which refer to a physical locations (e.g. in a bank, at the airport, in restaurant, at a hospital, in the court, in the office, etc.) are crucial.
competence, meanwhile, pragmatic competence and its development are overlooked. However, to become a successful communicator, students have to possess pragmatic competence. In summary, the figure below displays the stages of
EFL students’ language competence as suggested by Gass (1997).
Figure 1. Pragmatic Competence as the Development of EFL Learners
Coming with this agenda, it is essential to develop pragmatic competence of students in EFL classroom. From the first stage of their learning, all L2 students even at a beginner level may possess communicative competence themselves. One of the example is when they have to ask for a bag, even when they have very limited ability in using English, they can make request by simply say: “Bag!” while pointing at the real bag talked. Once when their grammatical competence starts to develop with some more vocabularies are acquired, then the syntactical and lexical choices are also developed that enable them to utter something like “Give me that bag, please!”. At this stage, we may consider that they have successfully produced a sentence which is grammatically correct and they can communicate their using language in a
(2003) suggests that “the imperative form is generally perceived as being even more impolite than a swearing in English”.
Then again, we cannot directly mention that they are being impolite. This matter may happen because of students’ lack of pragmatic competence and pragmatic knowledge of politeness. Therefore, it is a thoughtfulness for EFL teacher to guide the students to choose and build their own pragmatic competence in making polite and appropriate request considering six properties stated above as
well as the strategies and modifications. For instance: “Could you please take that bag for me, please?” Here, the students conceivable to apply a less direct request form by employing question or interrogative which has been seen as more polite than imperative. In addition, when dealing with non-native speaker of English, EFL students may face some problems because there are sometimes huge differences both from the language use and cultures as well as area or field they master. This issue leads the researcher to look deeper on students’ pragmatic competence principally in making requests which closely relates to interlanguage pragmatics.
3. Interlanguage Pragmatics (ILP)
One of the most recognizable issues dealing with second language acquisition (SLA) is the Interlanguage Pragmatics or ILP. Salgado (2011) notes the study of pragmatics and SLA has been referred as ILP which has been defined as
language” (Kasper & Rose, 2002). For more explanation, Blum-Kulka (1993) further explains that “ILP is defined as the study of nonnative speakers’ acquisition and the use of linguistic actions in target language”, which in this matter is English. Finally, Kasper (1998:184) simplifies these two ideas by defining ILP as “how to
do things with words in a second language”. On this behalf, Blum-Kulka emphasizes on three aspects of effective communication, which are: (a) culture and the formation of the intercultural trends as a result of different languages coming in contact; (b) the setting in which these trends emerge and the conditions leading to changes in these trends; and (c) the communicative effectiveness of these trends in fulfilling different functions.
Otherwise, Llinares (2014) implies that one sort of speech acts that has been widely studied in second language acquisition and interlanguage pragmatics is request. Considering three points mentioned by Blum-Kulka previously, ILP has strong upshot in making requests. Request can be face-threatening for the hearer, thus, Ellis (1994:168) underlines that:
There is also strong correlation with the respect that in formulating or producing appropriate requests based on certain situational contexts which also regards to the connection of power, social distance, and context calls for having a certain level of linguocultural awareness, expertise, and sensitivity on the part of the learners.
fields of study may influence the use of the linguistic units’ choices by the non-English students, particularly Medical and Law students of Batam University, when they do requests.
4. English for Medicine and Law
The non-English students of Batam University, especially Medical and Law students, take English as the compulsory subject where they have to complete both General English and English for Specific Purposes (ESP) to enhance their English skills. The General English covers English used for daily communication, meanwhile, the ESP focuses on the faculty or the major of the students. Both of these compulsory English subjects essentially focus on the same basic communicative competences which integrate students’ skills in listening, reading, speaking and writing as well as grammar. Here the researcher tries to highlight the two ESP, namely the English for Medicine and the English for Law.
a. English for Medicine
Completing the ME subject, it is aimed that the medical students are able to understand medical materials in English and how to properly communicate using English in any medical situation required. According to Glendinning and Holmstrom (2005), ME is a subject which aims to develop the speaking and listening skills primarily but attention is also given to the reading skill which particularly focus on the use of reference materials and journal articles, at the same time, ME also challenges Medical students to write referral letters and completing a range of the medical documents of the patients. In addition, Glendinning and Howard (2007) intensify that it is expected that students are capable of understanding and practicing ME which nowadays becomes the qualification standard to support and improve the professional demands on such accomplished medical skills, so they can respond to global challenges by having their perspective and knowledge about medicine in English enriched.
detected, P for pulse, Hb for hemoglobin, T for temperature, HS for heart sound, and others.
The most dominant competence relies on the ability of students to discuss investigations and diagnoses patients. Fulfilling the preceding competencies stated previously, at the end, Medical students have to be able to do investigations as well
as diagnose the patient’ conditions. Here, the Medical students possibly apply some strategies to ask the patient about his/her current health status, patient’s history, and if it is needed, they ask the patient to lay down on the bed and do the physical checking, however, of course they have to speak in English. Finally, after examining the patient, the medical treatment then take a place. It is also important for future doctors, nurse, midwives, as well as other medical personnel to be able
to give suggestions and solutions toward the patient’s condition, such as the simple thing about what to do and not to do in order to gain a healthy life of patients.
b. English for Law
Law students of Batam University have great chance to compete globally wherein they need to use legal English to work with foreign colleagues or clients. The teaching of EL in Batam University is one of the efforts to develop Law
students’ knowledge of legal English especially in legal vocabularies and terms to assist their Law studies. Further, Brown and Rice (2007) explain that EL benefits the EFL students particularly in providing the vocabularies in the contexts of the legal system in the UK because the meaning of any legal terms and the conceptual relationship between terms is located within a specific legal system. Thus, EL helps the students in terms of deciding whether to use a legal term in English as an equivalent to a concept in our own system or to employ an approximation of it.
There are some competencies to be accomplished in EL. These competencies incorporate the integrated skills of reading, listening, speaking, and writing in English. The basic competency is understanding the vocabularies and terms used in legal English. Other competencies are understanding legal system, legal professionals in practice like explaining client care procedures and corresponding to the clients’ emails and letters, and forming a legal contract. Completing these major competencies, the Law students are expected to be able to use and understand appropriate legal English terms and collocations, interpret English legal documents, make a legal contract, and negotiate the contract terms in English.
to ask the points or the important things to be stated in the contract suits a crucial matter since they have to make profits for their clients’ sake. The choices of certain linguistic units become matter, moreover people often prefer to state something implicitly and to perform act through language that is known as speech acts.
In short, Medical and Law students are imposed to master different skills or competences as noted based on their speciality, yet still cover the integrated skills in English learning. The details of each competence for Medical and Law students’ English competences are further explained in the syllabus or learning contract of its Medical English and English for Law which are attached in the appendices section of this thesis. These competences do not only cover the use of correct grammatical form of tenses, but also comprise the ability of students on selecting the suitable speech acts for different situations. As to refer to Jones and Halenko (2014) who underline that to make a successful request is sensitive to selection of linguistic units and organizational pattern required by certain context in different situation. Thus, both Medical and Law students have to possess pragmatic competence to make the requests work as they were intended. In this point, pragmatic competence helps the students to avoid pragmatic failure and the goal of the communication is achieved. Students’ competence as well as pragmatic competence construe the use of English in appropriate way by considering the linguistic patterns and its social norms, particularly the politeness, thus, this befits the point of the researcher to do the study on request acts.
5. Speech Acts
The notion of speech acts is not as simple as defining the idea about acting through saying words. In this study, the researcher gives a closer look on the speech acts definitions and classifications based on Austin and Searle’s typologies to make it more understandable.
a. Speech Acts Definitions
The term speech acts was introduced by Oxford philosopher J.L. Austin in 1962 and further developed by American philosopher J.R. Searle. Austin (1962:52)
originally used the term ‘speech act’ to refer to an utterance and the ‘total situation
in which the utterance is issued’. Goes with the time, today the term ‘speech act’ is
used to mean the same as ‘illocutionary act’ (Thomas, 2013:51). In short, speech act is commonly delineated as act or action performed after speaker saying something. Just as the same words can be used to perform different speech acts, thus, different words can also be used to perform the same speech acts (52).
Austin (1962) emphasizes the function of speech acts as a way of carrying out actions with words. On the other hand, according to Searle (1969:16), speech acts are the basic or minimal units of linguistic communication. To make it clear, he further states:
Based on this function, it can derived that a speaker performs a communicative action using an utterance, hence, this utterance is a speech act. Going in the same way, Allan and Jaszczolt (2012:5) mention that:
Speech acts have basic intentionality as externalizations of mental states, and also derived intentionally as linguistic objects, thus the same condition of satisfaction pertain to the mental intention and to linguistic intention.
In addition, Cutting (2002:16) implies speech act as the performance of a certain act through words (e.g. requesting something, refusing, thanking, greeting someone, complimenting, complaining). In other word, simply, it can be understood that speech acts are verbal actions performed by the acts of saying. Thus, it can be concluded that speech acts are not only linguistic expressions, but also as linguistic actions that carry out communicative purposes (Salgado, 2011:8).
b. Speech Acts Typologies
Austin (1962) distinguishes three kinds of speech acts, namely: (1) Locutionary Act: this is the actual utterances itself, i.e. the physical act of producing an utterance and its apparent meaning; (2) Illocutionary Act: this is the intended meaning of the utterance. The illocutionary acts tend to be the focus of analysis in
Speech Act Theory and often referred to as the ‘illocutionary force’ of an utterance;
and (3) Perlocutionary Act: the effect that is achieved through the locution and illocution. Examples include persuading, requesting, inspiring, convincing, and so forth.
Speech acts, in real interactions, sometimes are used differently with different force to the hearer. Austin, furthermore, gives three special conditions that are necessary to perform a successful speech act called ‘felicity conditions’. Even they are considerably not the essential elements for the successful performance of the act, however, their failure can create miscommunication. Austin (1962:23) classifies three felicity conditions, they are: (1) There must be a conventional procedure having a conventional effects and the circumstances and people must be appropriate, as specified by the procedure; (2) The procedure must be executed correctly and completely; and (3) Often, the person must have the requisite thoughts, feelings and intentions, as specified in the procedure, and if consequent conduct is specified, then the relevant parties must carry it out.
As has been stated previously, speech act is often termed as illocutionary
acts where it has conventional force called ‘illocutionary force’. Cutting (2002:16)
of the words, the specific purpose that the speakers have in mind”. Respectively, Austin (1962:150) classifies illocutionary forces into five categories: (1) Verdictives which function to give verdict like estimating, reckoning, and appraising, besides, it is essential to give a finding to something, both fact or qualities, which is for different reason hard to be certain about and usually done by jury, arbitrator or umpire; (2) Exercitives or the exercise of the power, right or influence like appointing, voting, ordering, urging, advising, etc.; (3) Commisives or typified by promising or otherwise undertaking which commit the hearer to do something, but also covers the declaration or the announcement that cost for attention; (4) Behabitives which are very miscellaneous and have something to do with attitudes and social behavior like apologizing, congratulating, cursing, etc.; (5) Expositives that quite hard to define literally and describe how the utterances fit the course of an argument or conversation, or expository in general, like I reply, I conclude, I assume, I postulate, etc. Furthermore, following Austin theory on
Speech Acts, Searle in Levinson (1983:240) develops the theories and proposes new theory on five taxonomies of speech acts, they are: representatives, directives, commissives, expressives, and declarations.
The first type of speech acts are representative. These speech acts are assertions about a state of affairs in the world (hence they are also called
‘assertives’ (Leech, 1983:128). Thus, these kind of speech acts carry the values of
Simply, dealing with representatives acts, the function of these acts are committing the speaker to the truth of the expressed proposition. Some of the examples are concluding, describing, claiming, hypothesizing, insisting, predicting, etc.
The second type of speech acts are directives. Mey (2001:120) mentions as the name says, these speech acts embody an effort on the part of the speaker to get
the hearer to do something or to ‘direct’ him or her towards some goal (of the
speaker’s, mostly). He adds as to ‘fit’ that these speech acts represent, there is also
a clear ‘direction’ in the technical sense of this term from world to words (the world is adapted to the uttered words). On the other hand, the directives differ in force: from pious wish to peremptory, harsh order (121). In a more simple explanation, directives speech acts can be used to express attempts of speaker to get the
addressee to do something based on speaker’s intention or desire. For instance: requesting, ordering, suggesting, forbidding, begging, etc.
The third type of speech acts are commissives. Just like directives, commisives operate a change in the world by means of creating an obligation, however, this obligation is created in the speaker, not the hearer like in directives (Mey, 2001:121). Therefore, the commisives acts create a promise in which the speaker commit himself/herself to do some future course of action such as promising, swearing, threatening, offering, etc.
psychological state in relation to a particular state or affairs. In short, we may see that these kind of speech acts are acts that state or express what the speaker feels like apologizing, praising, congratulating, regretting, thanking, condoling, greeting, and so forth.
The fifth one are declarations. Searle (1979:37) sees declarations bring about some alternation in the status or condition of the referred to object or objects solely by virtue of the fact that the declaration has been successfully performed. Besides, Cutting (2002:17) gives his idea that declarations are words and expressions that change the world by their very utterances. One important thing is that after the declaration is made, there is a state of change to objects because of the
speaker’s utterances. For example: marrying, declaring war, christening, firing, arresting, blessing, etc.
Furthermore, based on the elaboration above, it can be inferred that speech acts enable the structure to convey function to carry the meaning of the utterances. One of the easiest approaches in distinguishing types of speech acts is by made on the basis of the relationship between the structure and the function. Referring to
Searle’s taxonomies, the request acts belongs to directive act where the main function of this act is to express the speaker’s desire or intention to get the hearer or the interpreter to do or not to do something. In fact, dealing with the directive function, the ability to perform speech acts appropriately in social contexts
demonstrates the speaker’s communicative competence. Thus, to minimize the
The ability in making request has always been related to the notion of politeness. The classical theory of politeness proposed by Vanderveken (1985) states that “politeness deals with the speaker’s utterances extend to affect the
hearer’s feelings, attitude, and behavior”. Holtgraves (2002) implies that politeness allows people to perform many interpersonally sensitive actions in a nonthreatening or less threatening manner. In the same line, Meyerhoff (2011:312) emphasizes that politeness deals with the actions taken by competent speakers in a community in order to avoid possible social or interpersonal disturbance. Thus, the politeness in request is seen as the way to diminish the effect of the ‘Face
Threatening’ effects to the addressee.
According to Meier (1996), politeness can be measured from the perspective of a particular context and particular addressee’s expectation. Leech (2014:4-8) highlights that there are eight characteristics of politeness needed to be concerned in dealing with requests acts. Firstly, politeness is “not obligatory”. Here Leech
suggests that “people can be nonpolite: they normally will not behave politely
unless there is a reason to be polite”. Secondly, there are varying “gradations” of
polite and impolite behavior. Thirdly, there is often “a sense of what is normal”
recognized by members of society as to how polite to be for a particular occasion. Fourthly, how far the politeness will occur or whether it will occur at all, “depends on the situation”. Furthermore, fifthly, there is a “reciprocal asymmetry” in polite
behavior between two parties A and B. It means that “whatever is felt to be polite
the same occasion, in B’s behavior”. Sixthly, a rather bizarre aspect of politeness is that it manifests itself in repetitive behavior which is to a lesser or greater degree ritualized. Seventhly, it is fairly central to politeness that it involves the passing of
some kind of “transactional of value” between the speaker and the other party. And
at last, eighthly, politeness is about its tendency to preserve a “balance” of value
between the participants A and B.
Despite of these eight characteristics of politeness, on the other hand, Brown
and Levinson in Partington (2006) list three ‘sociological variables’ that speakers
employ in choosing the degree of politeness to use and in calculating the amount of the threat to their own face, namely: (a) the social distance of the speaker and
hearer, (b) the relative ‘power’ of the speaker and hearer, and (c) the absolute
ranking of impositions in the particular culture. These three variables go in line with the level of the politeness applied. Therefore, the greater the social distance between the interlocutors, the more politeness is expected. Besides, the greater the relative power perceived between the speaker and the hearer, the more politeness is recommended. And, finally, the greater the gap between the rank or the imposition between the speaker and the hearer, subsequently, the more politeness have to be used. And one important thing to be emphasized is that “politeness is cultural-spesific and the politeness norms are not universal” (Watts, 2003).
more polite the request likely to be. Thus, the researcher comes to the conclusion that requesting is not just a matter of politeness, but need to embrace the pragmatic knowledge of the speakers as the modifications and the strategies in making requests.
7. Request and Request Strategies
Making request requires strategies and modifications to urge the hearer and to get hearer to do as the speaker wish. This part of theory review discusses about the nature of the requests, strategies and modifications possibly used by the speaker in requests. To make them clear, each of the strategies will be discussed in details along with the examples.
a. Request Definition
In general, Nikazm (2006:1) implies that request in everyday conversation refers to a type of social action in which the interactional goal of the speaker is to get his or her co-participant to perform an action (i.e., transferring something of value, for example an object, service or information) that is for the benefit of the speaker or a third party. Besides, Ellis (1994) defines request as an act on the part of speaker who attempts to get the hearer to perform or to stop some kind of action. These explanations have been simplified by Rue and Zhang (2008:1) whom mention that a request is to ask someone to do or not to do something, or as an expression of the need or desire for something.
a request is a directive speech act whose illocutionary purpose is to get the hearer to do something in circumstances in which it is obvious that he/she will perform the action in the normal course of events.
The same idea also stated by Trosborg (1995:187) who implies that request is an illocutionary act whereby a speaker (requester) conveys to hearer (requestee) that he/she wants the requestee to perform an act which is for the benefit of the speaker.
Conceptually, in request, there is a precondition which begins with ‘speaker
believe’ that the hearer or the addressee is able to do the act and it creates effect to
‘hearer believe’ that they need to perform some action regarding the speaker’s
attempt. In order to get the requests done by the addressee, the speaker usually manipulates appropriate linguistics forms to make request apt to the situations.
b. Request Strategies
In reality, we always need other people to do something, particularly when we have intentions that cannot be fulfilled ourselves. Pragmatically, requesting becomes a big issue when it is associated with the intention of minimizing the
“Face-Threatening” effects on the addressee. For that reason, the requesters or the speakers are required to employ modification as well as precise strategies based on situational contexts happen. The general strategy used as a modification is the level of the indirectness of the requests.
Trosborg (1995) classifies the directness of request levels into four main categories: direct requests (imperatives, performatives, and obligation), conventionally direct or speaker-based (wishes and needs), conventionally indirect or hearer-oriented (ability, willingness, and suggestory formulae), and indirect requests (hints). On the other hand, requests were not only characterized by degree of indirectness, but also the degree of formality and deference expressed, as well as the use of various and complex forms of internal (e.g. diminutives, the conditional form) and external modifications (e.g. grounders, promise of reward) that serve to mitigate requests (Felix-Brasdefer, 2005).
Openers function to alert hearer’s attention to ensure a speech act. Most of the openers are realized as terms of address.
Table 1. Openers in Requests
Strategies Description and example
Enhancing respectfulness and formality: ‘General
Manager Wang, surname + title). Downgrading
Downgrading the hearer: ‘Hey, son’
2) Head acts (main request acts)
Head acts are classified into three main levels in relation to the degree of directness, they are: (a) direct head acts comprise mood derivable, performatives, obligation statements, and want statements; (b) conventionally indirect head acts are made up of suggestory formula and the query preparatory; and (c) non-conventionally indirect head acts consist of strong hints and mild hints. The details of the head acts modifications are discussed in table 2 along with the samples of the utterances.
Table 2. Head Acts in Requests
Directness levels Strategies Description and example
Direct Head Acts (impositives)
The grammatical mood (imperative) used in this form is conventionally regarded as a request. For example:
‘Don’t tell him!’ and ‘Leave your contact details.’
The speaker conveys the illocutionary intent by using a relevant illocutionary verb, making the utterance an order, a plea or begging. For example:
‘I order you to set out at once’ and ‘I beg you to give
it back to me.’
The speaker conveys the illocutionary intent by
The speaker conveys the illocutionary intent by asserting a particular want, desire, or wish. For
example: ‘I want to borrow money from you’ and ‘I want to know Tahay’s contact details.
Conventionally Indirect Head Acts
The speaker conveys the illocutionary intent expressed as a suggestion. For example: ‘How about
not going today?’ and ‘How about postponing your holiday?’
The utterances contains a preparatory question referring to the feasibility of the request, including
asking the hearer’s ability, willingness, permission,
possibility or convenience to perform the act. For
example: ‘Can you lend your mobile phone?’ and ‘Can you record that right now?’
Level 3 room is very hot’ (intent: asking the addressee to turn the air conditioner or to open the window) and ‘Why
do you touch my things?’ (intent: asking the
addressee not to take his books)
The speaker conveys the illocutionary intent by providing less strong clues, but it is still interpretable as a request with the help context. Greater inferencing is required on the part of the hearer. For
example: ‘Are you busy?’ (intent: asking the
addressee to turn on the air conditioner or to open the
window) and ‘The one we usually use was here’
(intent: asking the addressee to return the stamp to him)
3) Internal modifications
The internal modification is a part of head act, and plays a role in minimizing or intensifying the illocutionary force of a request act, as a downgrader or upgrader. Here, the internal modifications are subcategorized into syntactic/lexical downgraders and lexical upgraders.
a) Lexical modifications