Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, The Hashemite University, Zarqa, Jordan

2 Mohamed Bin Zayed University for Humanities, UAE

3 Jadara University, Jordan


This research explored refusal strategies among 15 Ammani Arabic monolinguals and 15 English-Arabic bilinguals, aiming to uncover cross-cultural variations. Data were collected through a discourse completion test (DCT) following Beebe et al. (1990), featuring scenarios of requests, invitations, suggestions, and offers. Participants respond to each scenario, refusing to individuals of equal, higher, and lower status, shedding light on diverse communication patterns in intercultural contexts. Results showed that Ammani Arabic monolinguals use more direct strategies than English-Arabic bilinguals in refusing requests and suggestions, especially when dealing with lower status. English-Arabic bilinguals use more adjunct strategies when dealing with higher-status people, while Ammani Arabic monolinguals use “care of the interlocutor’s feelings” strategy. Pragma-linguistic failures were observed, revealing differences in the length, content, and order of semantic formulas, showcasing potential challenges in cross-cultural communication. This study’s results can help understand the norms of both languages and be used in language teaching contexts.