L2 Turkish learners conceptualization of the polite speech act of congratulation in Turkish

Can, Hümeyra
Hatipoğlu, Çiler
For quite a while now, it has been recognized that there is a dynamic interplay between cognition and culture, and people view their world through categories, concepts, and labels that are products of their own culture and their perceptual frames of reference (Porter & Samovar 1982). Therefore, members of every community have their own rules and rituals of (im)politeness. This adds to the complexity of intercultural communication urging language learners to develop the cultural awareness necessary to acculturate and successfully make sense of the world around them (Dufon & Churchill 2006). This cultural awareness involves mastery of speech acts in a particular culture since speech acts show variations across languages and cultures in terms of their linguistic and pragmatic aspects (Johnson & Johnson 1999). Turkey is one of the countries where intercultural communication is increasingly evident with its development as a study abroad context. Research has shown that one speech act that is a crucial ‘ingredient’ of the conversations among native speakers of Turkish is congratulations which are an expression of approval aimed at strengthening social relations and intimacy (Tsilipakou 2001) and are considered to be “intrinsically polite” (Leech 1983). They are not only frequently used in everyday communications but they are also exchanged among interlocutors on special days and emotionally loaded occasions such as birthdays, anniversary, and weddings (Can 2011). This study aims to uncover L2 Turkish learners’ lexical conceptualizations of the Turkish congratulation performatives tebrik and kutlama and its cultural pragmatic aspects based on their experiences, views and attitudes. In doing this, a Metapragmatic Conceptualization Questionnaire was administered to advanced L2 learners of Turkish in a study abroad context and analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. The results of the study revealed intriguing facts about the ways L2 learners of Turkish perceived and conceptualised (im)politeness and congratulations in Turkish.


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Citation Formats
H. Can and Ç. Hatipoğlu, “L2 Turkish learners conceptualization of the polite speech act of congratulation in Turkish,” presented at the 9th International Politeness Conference, (1- 03 Temmuz 2015), Atina, Yunanistan, 2015, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: http://politeness-2015.enl.uoa.gr/uploads/media/ABSTRACTS.pdf.