Language and dialectal variation in request structures
Ariail, Michael Reid
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Request structures vary considerably between languages and among the dialects of a language in both their level of directness and the ways in which they are mitigated. Variation in requests is realized through differing uses of lexical and syntactic mitigators, as well as through a range of request strategies that vary in their level of directness. The present study describes and compares variation found in the requests of Spanish speakers from Costa Rica and English speakers from the Southern United States through analysis of requests elicited using a discourse completion test (DCT). Tendencies for conventional politeness through the use of indirect request strategies were found across languages.