Title: Refusal strategies employed by Bulgarian and English native speakers with higher status interlocutors


Vol. 8(3), 2020, pp. 36-47.

DOI: 10.46687/SILC.2020.v08i03.003


Author: Polina Mitkova

About the author: Polina Mitkova has graduated with an M.A. in International relations from Sofia University, Bulgaria in 2004 and an M.A. in TESOL from Temple University, Philadelphia (Tokyo campus) in 2011. Her teaching experience covers a wide range of age groups and professional backgrounds in Asia and Europe. Her professional interests are in the fields of pragmatics, intercultural studies, and negotiations. She is currently working on her PhD dissertation at Shumen University entitled “Ways of expressing refusals in business communication”.




Citation (APA style): Mitkova, P. (2020). Refusal strategies employed by Bulgarian and English native speakers with higher status interlocutors. Studies in Linguistics, Culture, and FLT, 8(3), 36-47. doi: 10.46687/SILC.2020.v08i03.003




Abstract: This paper compares the refusal strategies employed by English and Bulgarian native speakers in business settings with interlocutors of a higher status. The data collecting tool is a discourse - completion task (DCT). The refusals are compared in terms of frequency of the semantic formulas and adjuncts. The findings indicate that refusals towards representatives of a higher status are most frequently realized through the semantic formula Reason/Explanation, followed by Regret/ Apology and Negation of the proposition for English native speakers or Statement of fact for Bulgarians. Some of the short patterns of strategies observed for Bulgarians are the combinations: Negation of the proposition and Statement of fact, Statement of fact and Warning, Statement of fact and Statement of limit and Statement of fact and Redirecting. These findings should benefit researchers, business people and negotiators who are to overcome intercultural, communicational and linguistic challenges in a globalized world.


Key words: business communication, negotiations, refusals, discourse – completion task, Bulgarian and English native respondents



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